The State Forest Management Centre (RMK) includes TTK UAS in its pilot project24.08.2020

The State Forest Management Centre (RMK) has launched with the involvement of TTK UAS a pilot project to test oil shale ash for forest road construction in order to reinforce the roads and save on gravel. TTK UAS is involved conducting testing in its lab and monitoring the state of the roads once completed.

“For decades now we’ve been using leftover limestone from quarries and rubble made from it to construct forest roads,” said Margus Reimann, the Head of the Forest Improvement Department at RMK. “We also use geosynthetic materials to extend the lifetime of roads and use less road surface material. “Now’s the right time to start using oil shale ash, of which there’s tonnes left over from the oil shale industry, so as to waste less gravel.”

The first 1.3-km section of road for testing the new material was completed in the village of Viluvere in Pärnu County, where an existing dirt road was treated with oil shale ash. 35 kg of ash was used to treat each 25-cm deep square metre of the road.

According to RMK calculations, hopefully the use of 10% less road surface material, helps to reduce the carbon footprint of their transport by 100 tonnes per year. There are plans to treat a further two roads with oil shale ash next year, this time in Ida-Viru County: one a dirt road with a coal stock surface and the other a clay dirt road. Oil shale ash has previously only been used in Estonia to stabilise state roads.

“Construction of the road has been completed, but we now have to wait for the ash to harden. RMK will test the road in October or November by transporting wood from a nearby cutting site to evaluate the quality of the road’s surface material and to establish whether its bearing capacity meets our expectations,” explained Reimann.

Source: RMK
Photo: Sander Ilvest

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