University of Victoria

/

British Columbia

,

Canada

Transforming Flexible Plastic Waste into Green Reinforcement for the Construction Industry

This approach describes a plausible procedure for converting flexible plastic packaging waste into Green Engineered Surface Treated Fibers (GESTF) for reinforcing the concrete structures. The use of GESTF will not only intensifying the sustainability of concrete, but will also reduce the Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions by creating novel cement-based composites.

A higher end use of OFPP waste as OFPP-GESTF is explored for using them as reinforcement in concrete structures. Currently, OFPP is being recovered as engineered fuel due to lack of proper recycling procedure since OFPP involves multiple layers of different types of plastics. The crux of this solution is, it does not require separating OFPP waste into recognizable plastic grade before their re-use. Rather, this solution works on low cost separation technologies for categorizing OFPP waste into six broad types based upon their usage. This classification is easier to educate the population for sorting/managing OFPP waste.  

This approach will keep plastic waste out of environment/landfill and provide maximum value and utility-life to the waste plastic, which is typically equals to the epoch of any concrete structure. Moreover, this novel procedure uses the waste from household/industry, where the waste plastic is being coated with waste fly-ash/Supplementary Cementing Materials (SCMs) to get OFPP-GESTF.

Currently, a team at FIMIM has established the proof of concept for sighting OFPP waste as OFPP-GESTF by deploying existent OFPP waste in BC, Canada via. manual accomplishment of processing steps on waste OFPP, viz. sorting, cleaning, shredding, and coating with SCM to obtain OFPP-GESTF. Subsequently, different concrete samples were casted by using OFPP-GESTF as reinforcement to elucidates the improvement in concrete's suitability. This established baseline work has still some room for improvement, where low energy OFPP waste needs to process through Chemical etching/surface energy enhancement techniques before coating with SCMs. This procedure will aid in improving bonding between OFPP-GESTF and concrete matrix, known as interfacial transition zones (ITZ). Furthermore, for commercial implementation and to obtain operational legitimacy as well as high throughput, Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) based automation and robotic arrangements for manufacturing OFPP-GESTF from OFPP waste is intended.  

Lead organization region / continent
North America
Location of future work
North America
Solution type
Sorting and Preparation
Physical Recycling
Non-Plastic End Markets