EZ is revolutionary! Thanks to Cypher Environmental, our Canadian partner and the manufacturer of the EZ technology. It has been proven that EZ technology has helped clients save significant amount of money from both construction and maintenance costs across the globe.
What Is Earthzyme (EZ)?
EZ is enzyme-based bio-degradable, non-toxic and environmentally safe soil stabilizing technology. When it comes to road construction, laterite is considered useless. What is laterite? Laterite is the red dirt or soil one sees everywhere in Ghana. It is not considered good soil for agriculture either. In Ghana, it seems laterite produces nothing but dust and muddy conditions during rainy season. Even worse, roadway engineers spend money and considerable period of time to get rid of this red dirt before they can build a road. With EZ technology, laterite can now be used to build the foundation for asphalt and bitumen chip seal roads across Ghana. Laterite can also be used as standalone roadway pavement for feeder roads.
Is this too good to be true! Well Yes, it is true! In May last year, the Ministry of Roads and Highways commissioned Inotecsol to build a pilot road to prove the efficacy of EZ. The pilot road was completed on May 2, 2019, the very beginning of the 2019 raining season. The ministry studied the pilot road during the raining season and afterwards. The ministry’s report came out in January 2020. Not to our surprise, the ministry sent a letter out to all of its agencies recommending EZ for road construction projects.
How Does EZ Work?
EZ works by using its electrical charge to push water out from the interspace of clay particles. The reason why clay when wet becomes soft and incapable of supporting any weight is because there is a lot of water that gets trapped in between the clay particles. EZ uses its electric charge to repel the water that is trapped between the clay particles. This allows the clay when compacted with a pneumatic roller to increase its density. Thus, after an EZ pavement is compacted, it becomes solid like a rock. During rainstorm, because the clay is heavily packed, very little to almost no water gets in between the clay particles to cause swell. Now, imagine overlaying asphalt pavement on top of this EZ pavement! This is the reason why EZ asphalt pavement can be far stronger than the traditional asphalt pavement.
Where does the Cost Savings Of EZ Pavement Come From?
Okay! Pavement design 101!
As you may already know, asphalt, concrete and bitumen chip seal pavements need a foundation on which to sit, right? The foundation for these traditional pavements usually comes in layers of different soil materials. This means if the natural ground is laterite, the contractor needs to excavate and haul the laterite out of sight. Once the laterite is out of the way, the contractor will place soil material that has gravel, sand and stones. The contractor then wets this soil mixture and compacts with a roller. The thickness of this soil mixture depends on the use of the roadway. For example, for the Accra to Kumasi road, the thickness of the soil mix that forms the foundation can be as thick 305 millimeters (12 inches). After compacting the soil mix to form the foundation, the asphalt mix, or the concrete past or the bitumen chip is laid on the foundation for cars and trucks to drive on the road. Now, where is the cost savings? Well, that soil mix (sand, gravel & stones) is very expensive to quarry and transport to the construction site. It also takes a long time to compact and shape the soil mix into the foundation. With EZ, you don’t need any of these soil mix. In fact, the laterite that was excavated and hauled out of the site to make way for the gravel base foundation would have been used to create the foundation. This is why with EZ technology, you save money on material and construction time; EZ projects are quicker to complete.
Are There Any Environmental Benefits of EZ?
Absolutely! As mentioned earlier, EZ is biodegradable and non-toxic to any living organism and water. The EZ technology is derived from organic enzymes and has no corrosive action in the environment. Please refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet of Cypher products. When it comes to roadway construction, one of the biggest environmental concern is the stripping of forest and other agricultural lands to quarry stones and or gravel to build the base foundation of roads. Stone quarry operators run out of site to mine the stones quickly, so they move from place to place and in the process, they build temporary roads to transport the quarried stones/ gravel and disturbing the land and organisms wherever they start new quarries. With EZ, the laterite needed are usually next to already existing roads or near where people already live. The point is, EZ roadways presents gentle to minimal environmental disturbance. EZ pavements without the chip seal on it produce very minimal dust compared to existing unpaved roads in the country. Thus, there is a significant reduction in dust pollution with EZ pavements.
How Quickly Can an EZ Pavement Be Constructed?
One of the greatest benefit of an EZ pavement is the ease in construction. A limited construction equipment are needed for an EZ pavement: a grader with a ripper, pneumatic roller, rubber tire roller and a water tank- that’s it! With experience grader operator behind the wheels, 1.5 kilometers of an EZ road can be constructed in 1 day. This is because all that is needed is to shape the laterite to conform to the required roadway profile, add water to EZ and mix it with the laterite. After mixing, the grader reshapes the road back to the required profile and crown and compact the pavement with the pneumatic and rubber tire rollers. It is that simple! Remember, profound and fundamentally life changing processes are simple at the core. This is road construction at its best and it is super beneficial to emerging economies like Ghana.
Can individual Homeowners Afford EZ pavements?
Absolutely! Inotecsol roadway way engineering approach and financing make it possible for not just governments and mining companies to afford EZ pavement. Homeowners, real estate companies, institutions like churches, schools and small businesses can all afford to build an EZ pavement which will last 10 years or more with no hassle. After 10 years or more, minimal amount of work would be required to extend the life cycle of the pavement for another 10 years or more. We want to be a part of changing Ghana for the better…this is one of our mission!
Are There any Problems with EZ?
Well, getting laterite can be a major problem in most countries. Fortunately for Ghana, we have it in abundance. Furthermore, the grey clay in Ghana is also compatible for use with EZ. Which makes the technology very practical for use in Ghana? The laterite or clay has to have a certain plasticity index (PI) before EZ can be use. Most laterite and clay in Ghana fortunately has the right (PI). A typical road built with EZ alone without the application of the other Cypher dust control technology will produce a minimum amount of dust. If the dust control technology is applied, there will be no perceptible dust pollution if there is periodic application of the dust control.