Researchers convert plastic bottles into porous cement

November 23rd, 2010 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 23 (IANS) Researchers have converted discarded plastic bottles in combination with soil to form a porous cement like substance that could be the construction material of the future.

It could also considerably ease ecological hazard caused by billions of plastic bottles discarded every year.

Naji Khoury, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Temple University in US, says the trademarked product is called ‘Plastisoil.’

Khoury said that it takes 30,000 of the better quality recyclable bottles to make one tonne of porous Plastisoil. He hopes to be able to use different types of recyclable plastic bottles in the future, according to a Temple statement.

Besides, Khoury said that an energy analysis shows that it uses less energy to produce one tonne of Plastisoil than one tonne of cement or asphalt.

Khoury said that Plastisoil could ease environmental problems created by stormwater run-off because stormwater can filter through it into the ground below.

The material could be used to form sidewalks, bike/jogging paths, driveways and parking lots. “We are currently testing the porous Plastisoil to see if we could also remove or reduce pollutants like motor oil from the water as it filters through,” he said.

He added that preliminary results also show porous Plastisoil to be cheaper to manufacture than existing technologies/products.

Khoury first developed Plastisoil with a co-inventors while at the University of Oklahoma, but he created the material after moving to Temple in 2008.

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