Market News First paving project using recycled plastic
The Plastics Industry Association in collaboration with LyondellBasell announced the use of the equivalent of 71,000 plastic retail bags to pave 2,885 square yards using recycled polyethylene (rPE).
This was the first installation of the New End Market Opportunities (NEMO) for Film Asphalt Project which added over 4,000 pounds of rPE into hot asphalt. With a focus on extending the life of plastic waste, this research project if successful, could be used in paving a future parking lot using 20,000 pounds of rPE or 1.5 million plastic bags.
“LyondellBasell is a proud member of Plastics and we have the opportunity to collaborate on innovative projects often in order to advance recycling and sustainability, not only in the U.S. but around the globe,” said Plastics’ President and CEO Tony Radoszewski. “Through this unique project, the LyondellBasell team demonstrates how all plastic can and should be used to its highest potential."
In early June, Plastics announced the completion of research on a new formulation of asphalt binder using the “Dry Process”. This is where recycled rPE is incorporated as a solid additive during the asphalt mixture manufacturing process. The formulation offers many of the same benefits of traditional polymer-modified asphalt, including improved performance, and increased lifespan, at a decreased cost.
“We were extremely intrigued by the opportunity to participate and collaborate in this project,” said Chuck Holland, Site Manager of the Cincinnati Technology Center. “LyondellBasell is taking a leadership position in sustainability, and this is one step of many that affirms our commitment in playing an active role.”
The Cincinnati Technology Center is a state-of-the-art research center and encompasses approximately 260,000 square feet of research and office space. This center assists customers in meeting their business and sustainability goals by developing the most efficient and effective polymer materials required for product performance. LyondellBasell partnered with Colas Solutions, the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), and Barrett Paving Materials Inc., to bring the project to life.
Colas Solutions is Colas USA technical center, part of the Colas Group, a worldwide leader in transportation infrastructure construction and maintenance. Colas Solutions Cincinnati location and its long experience in the formulation and production of asphalt mixtures modified with rPE using the dry process, provided the opportunity of collaborating with NCAT on this project. Colas Solutions identified an rPE supplier, Domino Plastics; formulated an rPE modified asphalt mixture based on advanced performance testing methods and coordinated production and paving with sister company Barrett Paving.