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Texas DOT Sets Vacuum Tower Asphalt Extender Percentage Limit at Five Percent

Tuesday, July 28, 2015  
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Gainesville, Virginia (July 29, 2015) -- The Texas Department of Transportation has approved a statewide provision to Item 300 of the Standard Specifications, regarding a set limit on the use of Vacuum Tower Asphalt Extender (VTAE). 

The provision states that a limit has been set on the use of VTAE, or re-refined engine oil bottoms, to no more than 5.0% by weight of the asphalt binder. To view the full provision, click here.

Earlier this year, NORA, An Association of Responsible Recyclers, developed two specifications related to Vacuum Tower Asphalt Extender (VTAE): One specification for use in pavement construction, and one for use in roofing. 

NORA's specifications are intended to assure the reliability and quality of VTAE products.  The proposed specifications are performance based and are not intended to preclude the use of any particular VTAE product. 

VTAE is derived from used oil distillation. According to the producers of VTAE, the product provides the critical element of flexibility to “hard asphalt” and enhances the performance of ordinary asphalt with adhesive strength, joint sealing and other qualities such as water proofing.  VTAE, which has been referred in the past to asphalt flux, asphalt extender, vacuum tower bottoms and other names, has been successfully used as an ingredient in asphalt pavement and roofing since at least 1983.  

In 2014, certain states issued bans related to the use of VTAE in asphalt pavement because of concerns of negative impacts from the use of the product.  NORA has taken a leadership role in bringing various sectors (NORA members as well as non-members) from the industry together to develop the VTAE specifications. In addition, research is currently underway that will address the concerns of the states that have banned these materials.

For more information about standards and specifications regarding the Texas Department of Transportation, visit


About NORA

NORA, An Association of Responsible Recyclers, is a trade association representing over 360 leading companies in the liquid recycling industry. For nearly 30 years, NORA has been defending and promoting the liquid recycling industry and your business. NORA was established in 1985 as the National Oil Recyclers Association with the primary mission of fighting the hazardous waste designation of used oil and aided in the development of the EPA's used oil management standards. The name was later changed to NORA, An Association of Responsible Recyclers as the business functions of the membership grew. Today, NORA represents the leading liquid recycling companies in the following areas: used oil, antifreeze, oil filters & absorbents, parts cleaning, wastewater and chemicals. For more information, visit

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