(447e) Use of Waste Plastic in Asphalt Binder: Theoretically and Experimentally Justified Identification of Compatible Blends
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 9:40am to 10:05am
Previous attempts to add waste plastic to asphalts were not met with great success primarily due to the incompatibility of common plastic and asphalt cement, which resulted in poor performance. If the compatibility between waste plastic and asphalt binder can be systematically understood and improved, then large amounts (millions of tons annually) of previously land-filled waste plastic can be repurposed in asphalt binder. Here, we fundamentally investigate the compatibility of waste plastic and asphalt using a combination of atomistic simulation, coarse-grained simulation, and experimental validation to provide guidelines for predicting the compatibility between asphalt and waste plastic. Waste plastics such as HDPE, LDPE, PVC, PET, and PS are considered, along with some approaches to improve compatibilitzation such as crosslinking with ground tire rubber, aminolysis of PET, and wax residue addition. These materials and approaches are considered in terms of fundamental polymer science concepts.