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Recycled Polymer Modified Asphalt

Driving toward more sustainable roads with less plastic waste

Plastic waste is a huge issue around the world. One way to help stop the flow of this waste is to use recycled polymer modified asphalt for roads, parking lots, and other pavement.

Polymer modified asphalt – or PMA – is a proven solution for making better pavement. How proven? Our ELVALOY™ Reactive Elastomeric Terpolymer (RET) products have been enhancing PMAs for nearly 30 years. That’s almost three decades of excellent performance, long service life, and lower life cycle costs compared to conventional, neat asphalt.

Paving the way to more sustainable roads – and less plastic waste

Recycled polymer modified asphalt (RPMA) takes pavement in a new direction by adding post-consumer recycle content (PCR) to the mix. To make RPMA, we replace some of the ELVALOY™ RET used in PMA with PCR…typically polyethylene-rich recycled plastics (RPE). Of course, it’s easier said than done. Great understanding and precise control of the materials and process are needed to help ensure high quality results.
 

Uriangato, Mexico Project
Dow participated in the first RPMA project in Latin America – helping pave 2.1 km (1.3 miles) of an official highway in the Uriangato district of Mexico.

Did You Know? Polymer Modified Asphalt
Learn more about the excellent performance and value ELVALOY™ RET brings to PMA and RPMA applications.
 

Sustainability advantages

In addition to putting plastic waste to good use and keeping it out of landfills, RPMA pavement can help reduce:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Energy consumption
  • The need for resurfacing

But, in the long run, the biggest benefit RPMA offers may be its contribution to the goal of a circular economy for plastics.

The right team for the job

If there’s one thing that’s consistent about paving projects, it’s that every one is different. Different regulations. Different materials. Different performance specs. Not just from state to state or province to province; but city to city, town to town, and especially country to country. Differences in recycle streams and quality add even more variables.

Thankfully, our global capabilities allow us to collaborate closely
with local partners – including road developers/asphalt producers, recyclers, municipalities/governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry associations, and universities. All sharing the vision of making the best possible pavement – and reducing plastic waste in the environment.

But does it work?

Our testing, as well as those conducted by other research institutions, independently, preliminarily indicate properly formulated RPMA can deliver performance similar to traditional PMA pavements. Check out the resources below for more details.


Technical Resources


The research continues...

World map with pilot project sites highlighted

So far, our RPMA pilot projects around the world have laid more than 66 miles (107 km) of pavement – diverting more than 220,000 lbs. (100 metric tons) of plastic waste from landfills while meeting all appropriate regulations and performance specifications.

Contact us to learn more about these or other ongoing projects.
 

Current RPMA pilot projects(1)

Project

Surface(s) paved

RPE used/waste plastic diverted

Additional comments

North America

Freeport, Texas USA

~ 2,600 feet (0.79 km) of road

1,686 lbs. (764.8 kg); equivalent to 120,000 plastic grocery bags

Two roads at Dow Texas Operations; collaboration with Martin Asphalt, American Materials, and Vernor

Midland County, Michigan USA

5.5 miles (8.9 km) of road; 30,500 yd2 (25,501.9 m2) of parking surface

10,400 lbs. (4717.4 kg); equivalent to 769,500 plastic grocery bags

Four county roads and two parking lots at Dow Headquarters; collaboration with Winpak, Central Asphalt, and K-Link

Orange, Texas

USA

3,480 yd2 (2,909.7 m2)

1,830 lbs. (830.1 kg); equivalent to 135,000 plastic grocery bags

Two roads at Dow Sabine River Operations, where ELVALOY™ RET is produced;

collaboration with Avanguard, Martin Asphalt, and Gulf Coast

Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Indian Subcontinent

Bulgaria

~ 0.62 miles (1 km)

4,409 lbs. (2,000 kg)

Municipal road

India (two cities)

40.4 miles (65 km)

286,601 lbs. (130,000 kg)

Collaboration with KK Plastic Waste Management, Rudra Environmental Solutions, and local governments in the cities of Bangalore and Pune

Asia Pacific

Indonesia (several cities)

1.24 miles (2 km)

6,614 lbs. (3,000 kg)

Collaboration with INAPLAS and ADUPI (Plastic Waste Management Association)

Manila, Philippines

16,145 ft2 (1,500 m2)

1,984 lbs. (900 kg); equivalent to >180,000 sachets and plastic bags

Collaboration with San Miguel

Thailand

~53,819.6 ft2 (5,000 m2)

 

 

6,614 lbs. (3,000 kg)

Seven parking lots and one road; collaborations with Siam Cement, Amata Industrial Estate, SC Asset, and CP All

Haiphong, Vietnam

0.87 miles (1.4 km) of road

14,330 lbs. (6,500 kg); equivalent to 1.7 million flexible wrappers

Collaborations with Deep C and Vietnam Maritime University

Latin America

Uriangato, Mexico

2.49 miles (4 km) of road

4,409 lbs. (2,000 kg)

Collaboration with Surfax and Constructora Vise

(1) The data presented here is for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as specifications.


Together, we can develop paving solutions that help make the world a better place. Let’s talk about your asphalt polymer modification needs.