Recycling Resources in Pavement: biochar and soft plastic

Yuxia Hu

Recycling waste materials in pavement construction can have double benefits: reducing landfill and discovering new resources. Where the waste material has high carbon content, its recycling can lock the carbon in pavement construction and reduce carbon emission – i.e. carbon sequestration. Biochar is the by-product of biomass pyrolysis – i.e. high-temperature decomposition in an oxygen-free environment, which has high carbon content. Soft plastic waste is one of the waste plastic types that needs to seek recycling options.

In this presentation, the uses of biochar and soft plastic wastes in asphalt pavement are explored. With different content of these waste materials and mixing conditions, the asphalt mixes were tested for their resilient modulus and fatigue performance. These are preliminary studies and the test results have shown promises of reusing these waste materials in asphalt mixes for pavement.

About the speaker

Yuxia Hu Professor, Geotechnical Engineering, UWA

Yuxia Hu is a Professor in geotechnical engineering at UWA. Over her career, she has been working in China, Japan and Australia. Over the last 30 years in Australia, she has been working in UWA and Curtin universities as an academic and developed, with Prof. Mark Randolph, a practical approach to analyse soil-foundation interactions involving large deformations of soils – LDFE/RITSS (Large Deformation FE/Remeshing and Interpolation Technique with Small Strain model). The LDFE/RITSS method has been implemented in different commercial software and applied to many offshore soil-structure interaction problems successfully. The research results have been implemented into design guidelines for offshore foundations. The inventions of booster for gravity installed anchors (GIAs) and smart offshore foundations have been patented, through collaborations with offshore industry globally. Her research also includes collaborations with local pavement engineers to work on sustainable designs in pavement. She holds memberships of EA, ASCE, ISSMGE and IACMAG, and served in editorial boards for reputable international journals in geotechnical engineering. She was the Head of Department of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at UWA in 2018-2021.

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