Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Vancouver Paving Streets With Recycled Plastics-Asphalt Mix

Vancouver, Canada has become the first Canadian city to pave its streets with asphalt that includes recycled plastics, in the form of a wax made by GreenMantra Technologies of Toronto. However, for the city of Vancouver there’s more to this story than finding an excellent use for recycled plastic: The plastic-asphalt mix is helping Vancouver reach its goal of being the greenest city in the world by 2020.

Adding the wax made from recycled plastic allows the paving mix to flow smoothly at a much lower temperature than traditional asphalt paving—up to 40ºC lower. That reduces the amount of fuel consumed in heating the asphalt by about 20%, and also reduces the amount of gases released into the atmosphere.

Vancouver paving crew working with new recycled plastic-asphalt compound.

with wax made from recycled plastic to make the city greener.

Comparing the warm-mix asphalt with traditional hot-melt asphalt, Peter Judd, Vancouver’s general manager of engineering, told the Vancouver Sun, “It’s an enormous saving in greenhouse gases.” He said that based on the amount of paving Vancouver does, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by as much as 300 tonnes per year. The lower-temperature asphalt also lets the city add more recycled asphalt into the mix.

GreenMantra says it uses a proprietary catalytic process to economically convert recycled plastics into high-end synthetic waxes, lubricating oils and greases, as well as fuels—diesel for example.

With greater than 95% conversion efficiency, the process has significantly lower capital and operating costs versus traditional processes for making wax or other oils, as well as processes that treat plastic viagra 100mg waste. Feedstocks can include virgin polyethylene and polypropylene, post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR) such as bottles and bags, and other recyclable plastics.

Warm-mix asphalt has greatly increased its share of the North American asphalt paving market over the last decade. The flow additives that have been used are proprietary, but using wax made from post-consumer recycled plastics appears to be new.

Using a plastic-asphalt paving mix has been gaining ground in other parts of the world as well. In January of this year we reported that the authorities in Chennai, India are using recycled plastic bags and bottles to create what the local people are calling ‘plastic roads’ and simultaneously shrinking their litter problem.

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