Morocco is getting into the circular economy and wants to increase its overall recycling rate from 5% to more than 20%. Today we find that plastic waste production reaches the level of 1 million tons per year from which only 20 to 30% is recovered (Moroccan Federation of Plastics Processing 2016). In addition, we have the road sector in Morocco, where huge quantities of pure bitumen used increasingly, which affects greatly the economic balance of the country.
Therefore, this work enables us to study the impact of the addition of recycled plastic materials into the composition of bitumen in order to reduce the quantities of pure bitumen consumed and to recover plastic waste while improving the characteristics of bitumen used in road construction.
At first, the focus has been oriented to determine the abundance of recycled thermoplastic waste in Morocco, taking into account the needs of the existing plastics industries before analyzing the effect of adding different rates of recycled waste, namely Polypropylene (PP), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Polystyrene (PS), to a conventional 35/50 quality bitumen.
Basic rheological parameters such as penetration, softening point, elastic recovery and ageing (RTFOT) helped to determine the changes caused by each rate of plastic addition to the pure bitumen.
Tests showed that the penetrability of modified bitumen decreases, and its softening point as well as its elastic recovery increases, so as a result, the thermal sensibility and the aging rate of the new bitumen mixture decreases.
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The authors would like to acknowledge the Technical Centre for Plastics and Rubber (CTPC) and Public laboratory for tests and studies - Center for Studies and Research of Transport Infrastructures (CERIT), Morocco, for providing opportunities for experimental collaboration, we also thank to BITUMA company for providing research facilities.
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