Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Plastic waste? Best used as porus bricks?

There is a new cement-like material call Plastisoil being developed.  As the name implies, it is made up of plastic waste and soil.

The developer, Naji Khoury, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Temple University in Philadelphia used discarded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles which are pulverized and mixed with soil.  The blended mixture is heated with a coarse aggregate to create what he wants.  A porus substance, which when laid will hold rainwater instead of draining off the surface.

He would like to see Plastisoil used for sidewalks, jogging paths, driveways and parking lots in an effort to reduce plastic waste, road filth and oil from polluting the environment as it drains away into canals and rivers with the rainwater on the current surfacing material used, such as, cement or asphalt.

There is a concern though that toxin in the composition of PET could also leak into the environment which would defeat its prupose as a filter.  Moreover, a surface that could hold water would also encourage growth of weeds which could also make maintaining it a problem.

I hope that he will be able to find ways to overcome all these issues and make Plastisoil a reality as it will take 30,000 used PET bottles to make one ton of the material.  As it does not used as much energy to manufacture compard to standard surfacing material like cement or asphalt, this could result in lower cost for us as consumers.


Gizmag is my source of information on Plastisoil and you can read its full article at:

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