Re ECF Project: ECF 2017-84

Project Title: Value-added collective recycling of waste plastic and waste tyre rubber into durable asphalt pavements

Applicant: Dr. Zhen LENG, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Total Approved Grant: $1,273,240

Duration: 1/2/2018 to 31/1/2020

Project Status/Remarks: On-going

Waste plastics and waste rubber tyres are two major municipal solid wastes which may cause various environmental problems if not appropriately recycled. This project aims to develop a novel method to collectively recycle waste plastic and waste tyre rubber into durability-enhancing modifiers for asphalt pavements. In this method, scrap tyre rubber will be used as elastomer to improve the rutting and cracking resistance of asphalt, while the bi-functional additives functionalized from waste plastic will serve as compatibilizers to enhance the rubber-asphalt bonding and potentially reduce the construction temperature of rubber modified asphalt. The optimum composition of the waste plastic and rubber modified asphalt (WPRMA) will be determined based on comprehensive laboratory tests on the rheological properties and storage stability of the modified asphalt and engineering performance of the modified asphalt mixture, followed by in-plant and on-site trial. In the end, guidance on producing WPRMA pavements will be developed for asphalt suppliers, contractors, and Highways Department to use. The impact of this project is broad because it not only creates a new outlet for recycling both waste plastic and waste tyre, but also develops a new technology to produce high-performance asphalt pavement with lower cost and lower carbon footprint.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
To be available upon completion of the project