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Dr. R. Vasudevan, DEAN ECA & Prof. Department of Chemistry,
Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai-15, Tamil Nadu. ; 9486486728

1. Plastic Scenario:
Plastics have become common mans friend. It finds its use in every field. 7.5 million
tones is the expected consumption for the current year. It is expected to go up to 12 Million
tones/year in 2010.
Nearly 50% of the plastic consumed is used for packing. The most used plastic materials
for packing are carry bags, cups, thermocoles and foams. These materials are manufactured
using polymers like Polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. (The tubes and wires are
made out of poly vinyl chloride)
These materials, once used are thrown out or littered by us more because of wrong
culture. They mix with Municipal Solid Waste. As they are non- biodegradable, the disposal is a
problem and they cause social problems contributing for environmental pollution.
Yet these packing materials either mono layer or laminated poly layers made out of poly
ethylene, poly propylene and poly styrene can be easily used for various uses like road
construction, block making, roofing, etc... without affecting the environment. (Poly Vinyl
Chloride is not used note)
2. Plastics as a Binder:
These plastic materials when heated to around 120 0c to 1500c, they melt and in their
molten state they can be used as a binder. Only if they are heated to temperature more than
2500c they may decompose producing gaseous products which results in air pollution. Coating
molten plastic over granite stone brings out the following effects
1. It is observed that the stones coated with plastics can be made to bind with bitumen
strongly resulting in better mix for road construction.
2. The coating of plastics over stone reduces the voids in the stone and helps to reduce
moisture absorption to a great extent.
3. Salt deposition on the pores of stone results in degradation of stones. This is also
4. The spreading of bitumen is easy
Utilization of waste plastics for flexible pavement construction is a new technology
developed at our place, which was patented in 2002 Patent No: A- CH/871.
3. Waste Plastics for Road construction:
Plastics waste (Carry bags, cups, thermocoles, foams and flexible films) is
shredded into small pieces (between 1.6mm 2.5mm). The granite stone is heated to around
1700c. the shredded plastics waste is added to the stone. It get melted and coated over stone in
just 30 seconds. Then the bitumen is added and mixed. The mix is used for road construction.
From rural roads to National High ways all types of roads can be laid using this technique.
Process Details Mini Hot Mix Plant
Step. I
Plastics waste (bags, cups, flexible films, thermocole) made out of PE, PP, and PS cut into
a size between 2.36mm and 4.75mm using shredding machine, (PVC waste should be
Step II a:
The aggregate mix is heated to 165 0c (as per the HRS specification) and transferred to
mixing chamber.
Step II b
Similarly the bitumen is to be heated up to a maximum of 160 0c (HRS Specification) to
have good binding and to prevent weak bonding. (Monitoring the temperature is very
Step III:
At the mixing chamber, the shredded plastics waste is to be added. It get coated
uniformly over the aggregate within 30 to 60 secs, giving an oily look.
Step IV:
The plastics waste coated aggregate is mixed with hot bitumen and the resulted mix is
used for road construction. The road laying temperature is between 110 0c to 1200c. The roller
used is 8-ton capacity
Process Details Central Mixing Plant
The modified process can also be carried out using central mixing plant. The shredded
plastics are added along the aggregate or a special mechanical device is developed which will
spray the plastics inside the chamber to coat the plastics effectively.
CMP helps to have better control of temperature and better mixing of this material thus helping
to have a uniform coating
A comparative study for 25mm thickness SDBC-10mm
Material Plain bitumen process Plastic-tar road
60/70 Bitumen 30kg 27kg
Plastic waste - 3kg
5. Characteristics
a. Characteristics of the process with easy disposal of waste plastics:
1. Plastics waste like carry bags, disposal cups, thermocoles, laminated films and
polyethylene and polypropylene foams can be used.
2. There is no need of segregation.
3. No need for much cleaning
4. Multi layer films can also be used.
5. Easy process without any new machinery
6. Simple process without any industry involvement
7. No granulation or blending is needed
8. Land filling and incineration process can be avoided
9. In situ process
10. Use of lesser percentage of bitumen and thus savings on bitumen resource
11. Use of plastics waste for a safe and eco-friendly process
12. Both Mini Hot Mix Plant and Central Mixing Plant can be used
13. Only aggregate is polymer coated and bitumen is not modified
14. Use 60/70 and 80/90 bitumen are possible
15. No evolution of any toxic gases like dioxin
16. Fly ash can also be used to give a better performance
17. Use of each ton of plastic waste avoids the entry of 3 tons of Co2 in to the
atmosphere, which otherwise results in global warming
18. For 1km X 3.75m road, 1 ton of plastic ( 10 lakh carry bags) is used and 1 ton of
bitumen is saved.
19. Value addition to the waste plastics (cost per kilogram increases from Rs 15 to Rs
20. Flexible pavement scrap can be reused effectively by coating with plastics waste. This
helps to reduce the cost of 50%; saves the use of raw material by 70 80% and also
the level of the road can be maintained.
b. Characteristics of the Plastic Tar Road:

Stronger road with increased Marshall Stability Value

Better resistance towards rain water and water stagnation
No stripping and hence no potholes.
Increased binding and better bonding of the mix.
Reduction in pores in aggregate and hence less rutting and raveling.
No leaching of plastics.
No effect of radiation like UV.
Can Withstand Heavy Load and Heavy traffic.
6. ROAD LAID LIST (The technique and the process are patented by TCE)
Using plastics waste coated aggregate bitumen mix; roads have been laid at different
places at Tamil Nadu using different surface area and different composition. The conditions of
roads are under observation for the past two years and they are performing well.

List of Roads laid using waste plastics

Blend Date
Name of the Road Area
5% PE 23nd March
TCE Near Old Canteen 60x 5
1% PE -02
4th October-
Kovilpatti Lenin Nagar 10% PE 600x12
Near Mannar 5th October-
Madurai 15% PE 180x10
College 02
15th October-
Salem Brindhavan Street 10% PE 1000x12
Komara- 10% Mixture 15th October-
Near Bus stand 300x12
palayam * 02
12% 22nd
Chennai ** Jambulingam Street 600x18
Mixture * November-02
Near Thiruvalluvar 10% Mixture 10th January-
Trichy 600x18
Bus Stand * 03
Salem # Astampatti 10% Mixture 5000x 18 17th April-03
Near Veerabadhra 10% Mixture 7th May-03
Erode 1500x 24
Street *
10% Mixture 10th May-03
Theni 300x18
10% Mixture 16th May-03
Nagercoil 1500x18
10% Mixture
Madurai- Kombadi 1.4 km
Madurai TCE Mens Hostel 10% Mixture 300mX3.5m 19th Jan04
600m X 3.5 3rd June 05
Ooty Cantonment 10% Mixture
600m X 3.5 13th
Kochi Rajagiri College 10% Mixture
m March05
TCE Car Parking 10% Mixture 5000Sq.m 8th July 05
TCE- Madurai Canteen Road 10% Mixture 400m 29th Jan07
Madurai Vilachery Main Road 10% Mixture 1.2Km March 2005
10 % October 2005
Madurai Vandiyur Main Road 900m
Near Bharathiyar 7th August
Ettaiyapuram 10% Mixture 500m
House 2006
PSNA College of 7th July 2007
Dindugal 10% Mixture 600m
Tirusul road near 2004
Chennai 10% Mixture 500m
Mumbai Prabhavadi Road 10% Mixture 500m 2004
Tanjore Bharath Petroleum 10% Mixture 2.5Km 2004
Supreme Textile 2005
Hindpur A.P 10% Mixture 500m
Near Assembly 2004
Pondicherry 10% Mixture 500m
Trivandrum 10% Mixture 500m 2005

7. Performance of the Plastic Tar road:

Monitoring of test roads were carried out using structural evaluation, functional
evaluation and conditional evaluation studies. Generally all the roads laid over a period
from 2002 to 2006 are performing well. The results obtained for these roads helped to
conclude that these roads are performing very well in spite of their age. Under the
similar conditions most of the bitumen roads are not performing well at all. These roads
have not developed even small cracking and a pothole. The roads were distributed over
the different localities of Tamil Nadu exposed to various environmental conditions like
temperature, rainfall, etc., yet the roads are performing well.
Year Unevennes Textur
Road laid Skid Rebound
s e Field
numbe Deflectio
(mm Depth Density
r n (mm)
/km) (mm)

Jambulingam Street 2002 2700 41 0.63 2.55 0.85

Veerabadhra Street 2003 3785 45 0.70 2.62 0.60

Vandiyur road, 2004 3005 41 0.66 2.75 0.84

Vilachery Road, mai 3891 45 0.50 2.89 0.86

Canteen Road, TCE 2006 3100 45 0.65 2.86 0.86

Plain Bitumen Road 2002 5200 76 0.83 2.33 1.55

Tolerance Value ------ 4000 <65 .6-.8 2.86 0.5-1

From the skid resistance studies of the five stretches it has been proved that the entire
road was having good skid resistance values.
From the surface texture studies of the five stretches it has been proved that the roads
inside the campus and the other two outside roads have good texture values.
From the deflection studies of the five stretches it has been proved that all the stretches
are reasonably strong.
From the bump integrator studies of the five stretches it has been proved that the
unevenness index value of these three road sections are nearly to 3000 mm/km, which
indicates a good surface evenness.

8. Performance Details:

Site Name Surface Condition Survey Photo

Jumbulingam road, 1. No Pot hole
Chennai (2002) 2. No Cracking
Photo Date: 21-02-2008 3. No Deformation
4. No Edge Flaw

Veerbadhra Street, 1. No Pot hole

Erode(2003) 2. No Cracking
Photo Date: 04-01-2008 3. No Deformation
4. No Edge Flaw
Vandiyur Main road (2004) 1. No Pot hole
Photo Date: 10-02-2008 2. No Cracking
3. No Deformation
4. No Edge Flaw

Vilachery Main road (2005) 1. No Pot hole

Photo Date: 11-02-2008 2. No Cracking
3. No Deformation
4. No Edge Flaw

Canteen road (2006) 1. No Pot hole

Photo Date: 01-03-2008 2. No Cracking
3. No Deformation
4. No Edge Flaw

9. Specification for different types of Plastic Tar Road: (optimum quantity of polymer 10% by
weight of bitumen)
Raw Materials:
1. Aggregate (as per IS )
2. Bitumen ( 60/70 or 80/100)
3. Shredded Waste plastics of size passing 4.75mm sieve and retaining in 1.36mm sieve
size. The waste plastics may be of the following varieties,
Films ( Carry Bags, Cups) thickness up to 60micron (PE, PP and PS)
Hard foams (PS) any thickness
Soft Foams (PE and PP) any thickness.
Laminated Plastics thickness up to 60 micron (Aluminum coated also)
packing materials used for biscuits, chocolates, etc.,
No PVC sheets or Flux sheets should be used
Shredding machines are available in the market.
Key Words:
Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Poly Styrene (PS)
Type of Pavement Aggregates Bitumen Polymer IRC
SDBC 40mm thick-10 m2 13.2mm-0.10m3 34.20kgs 3.8kgs 508
6.7mm -0.16m3
2.8mm -0.18m3
SDBC 25mm thick -10m2 11.2mm -0.10m3 21.6kgs 2.4kgs 508
6.7mm -0.16m3
Bituminous Concrete 40mm 26.5-9.5mm -0.40m3 38.7kgs 4.3kgs 509
thick-10m2 9.5-2.36mm -0.22m3

lime/rock dust
Bituminous Concrete 25mm 19-9.5mm -0.25m3 24.3kgs 2.7kgs 509
thick-10m2 9.5-2.36mm-0.14m3
Open grade premix carpet -10m2 (22.4-11.2mm)13.2mm-0.18m3 13.14kgs 1.46kgs 511

Premix carpet with seal coat 13.2mm -0.18m3 13.14kgs 1.46kgs 511
Type A-10m2
11.2mm -0.09m3
6.7mm -0.09m3
Premix carpet Type B-10m2 13.2mm -0.18m3 13.14kgs 1.46kgs 511
11.2mm -0.09m3

Seal Coat Type B Clean good sand-0.06m3 6.6kgs 0.25kgs 511

Surface dressing Single coat/First 13.2mm -0.15m3 16.2kgs 1.8KGS ---

Bituminous Macadam 75mm (45-22.4mm -0.63m3 52.2kgs 5.8kgs 504
thick -10m2 (22.4-11.2mm) -0.16m3
(11.2-2.8mm) - 0.25m3
(26.5-11.2mm)-0.42m3 34.2kgs 3.8kgs 504
Bituminous Macadam 50mm (11.2-2.8mm) -0.10m3
thick -10m2 2.8mm -0.18m3

Dense Bituminous Macadam (37.5-13.2mm) -0.35m3 62.1kgs 6.9kgs 507

75mm thick -10m2 13.2-2.36mm) -0.45m3
2.36mm& below -0.20m3
36kgs rock dust
Dense Bituminous Macadam (26.5-13.2mm) -0.35m3 41.4kgs 4.6kgs 507
50mm thick -10m2 (13.2-2.36mm) -0.21m3
2.36mm& below -0.14m3
24kgs cement/rock dust

9. Performance Photos
Velacherry Main Road
at Madurai- Tamil Nadu
Laid date: March 2004
Date: 18-02-2007

A Report appeared in the daily about the performance of Plastic tar Road

Laid March Laid - March

2005 2006

Photo - NOVEMBER 2006

Photo Date Jan 2007

Trisool Road, Chennai
Laid on April 2004
Photo Date Jan 2007

Kovilpatti (Lenin
Street), Tamil Nadu
Laid at 4th October 2002
Photo date Jan 2007
Jambulingam Street Road at
Laid Date: 22-11-2002
Photo date: Jan 2007


Meeting Dr. Kalam at our

College Premises
10. Growth of the Plastic Road:

Patent has been obtained from the Government of India for the plastic tar road laying
process Patent No. A-CH\871; 198254
Guidelines published by IRC-2013 IRC-SP:98-2013

Guidelines book on laying of plastic tar road was published by Central Pollution
Control Board, New Delhi (Ref; Probes/101/ 2005-2006
A book on the Performance Studies of laid plastic tar road was published by Central
Pollution Control Board, New Delhi (Ref; Probes/121/2008-2009
The Tamil Nadu Government published a booklet on Reuse of waste plastics A path
breaking initiative- Tamil Nadu experience.
A technical report on these work was sent to Indian Road Congress and it was
published is the High ways Journal during the year 2004
A technical paper was published in the International Journal of Pavement Research
and Technology, China.


The Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi had sanctioned three
projects during the year 2005 -2008, 2009-2012, and 2013-2016 for the studies on
the technical issues of plastic waste management under Green Chemistry. The
projects cost around RS 1.5 Crores.

In the year 2010 the National Rural Road Development Agency in consultation with us,
have published a Guidelines for laying plastic tar road laid
The latest gazette notification revised plastic waste management rules mention that
plastics can be used for making road by local bodies. (Ministry of Environment and forest
notification ; dated 4th February 2011; P. No. 21)
Our present Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has included in her parties election
manifesto that the state will be freed from plastic menace and rural roads will be
converted into plastic road using the process developed by the Thiagarajar College of

Tamil Nadu government implemented this process through DRDA and over 1500km
rural roads were laid distributing over all the districts in Tamil Nadu.
Carbon Credit:
Total waste plastics used for road construction so far is around 10000tons , thus
preventing the entry of carbon dioxide to the tune of 30000tons. Thus reducing global
11. Need of the Hour:
The segregation need to be carried out at various levels
1. Domestic waste is to be collected using two bin systems, thus collecting the
waste plastics separately
2. Public houses should be instructed to collect and store waste plastics
3. In market places, provisions are to be provided for the separate collections of
waste plastics.
4. The corporation is expected to take above measures for the collection of
waste plastics and also develop segregation of Municipal Solid waste.
5. The school children may be educated to bring the waste plastics from home
to the school. This can be collected by the plastic association authorities and
other likeminded organization. This makes the home and the street free from
plastic waste.
Waste plastics by themselves are not a problem. Thinner the film betters their use for
road construction. The increase in thickness only helps to increase the consumption of raw
material more and more.
It is the human problem. Man need to develop the habit of segregation. The authorities
like Municipality, Corporation, Associations, and NRI can join to help the segregation.
Let us understand the importance of waste plastic and good garbage culture- Let us make the
environment clean
Dont litter plastic on road but use it for road construction