Using Nonmetals Separated from E-Waste in Improving the Mechanical Properties of Asphalt Materials

Sponsor: University of Michigan – Michigan Space Grant Consortium

PI: Baron Colbert

Increasing quantities of plastics and electronic waste materials are placing a burden on the environment due to the rapid production of new electronic devices. Currently, there is a mandate for the transportation industry to produce roads and highways more economically, that are environmentally conscientious, and are sustainable. The mandate has resulted in an opportunity to implement electronic waste materials within asphalt binders. Successful implementation of these materials require a better understanding of the performance between modified asphalt binders and mixtures under variable temperature and loading conditions. This investigation explored the performance of modifying asphalt mixtures and binders with waste plastics and electronic wastes within the context of laboratory produced asphalt binder and mixtures specimens using Superpave performance tests. Conclusions from this study include the following: Modified E-Waste Binders become more viscous as e-waste per cent increase in asphalt binders, small amounts of Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) within the asphalt binder meet Superpave thermal cracking specifications, and dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) results indicate comparable to improved rutting performance when implementing modified e-waste binders. Future research work will develop modified e-waste asphalt binders and mixtures based upon Superpave characterization tests to determine e-waste particle size effects and improvement in preventing asphalt pavement damage and distress.