Urals | Transport, logistics | Technology & innovation

Old plastic to make new roads?

19 Jul '22
Researchers in Perm, in the West Urals, have suggested that polyethylene waste be used to make asphalt concrete for road pavement purposes instead of conventional natural raw material. A team at the Perm Polytechnic University has come up with technology that is said to make it possible to give used plastic a new life in motorways.

The scientists believe high- and low-density polyethylene grades (HDPE and LDPE) are the safest materials for the most eco-friendly recycling.

Experiments showed that LDPE-based asphalt, for example, was no worse in properties than the traditional pavement based on natural raw materials. On top of that, we have put together some preliminary economics of this new approach and can now see that the cost of polyethylene waste based asphalt would be 5-7% below that of conventional one, said Larisa Rudakova, one of the team leaders.

An enormous 300 million tons of polymers are produced across the world each year; when trashed, an estimated 80% of the plastic waste gets buried in vast landfills or incinerated.
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Locations: Perm

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