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Bio-Mass, Business, Green Products, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Right now most old roofing shingles go to the landfill (people sometimes even pay a dumping fees).  Then, more foreign oil is consumed making new asphalt shingles to replace them.  What I’m thinking about is turning shingles into road paving materials — a way to use another “free” resource to reduce our foreign oil dependence.

There is a company in Bristol that we’ve heard about, that recycles roofing shingles to make more roofing shingles.  I need to learn more about their business, and what percentage recycling they use.  It probably isn’t 100% or everybody would be doing it.  Probably, the glass fibers suffer a lot of attrition and break down their length during the recycle process, so only a certain percentage recycle could be used without compromising on strength.  That’s the way it was in glass-fiber reinforced plastics, which I lived and breathed for 17 years at Eastman.

Glass fibers are actually a premium reinforcing agent – not just a filler.  They generally are NOT used in paving because they are too expensive compared to sand, gravel, etc.  But if you get them for free in the recycle stream, they should make a really great paving material.

So the business would be – establish a collection center to take in old shingles (free?).  Clean them up. Reformulate with some other ingredients to make a paving material.  Sell.

What we’ve got going for us:

  • Our Terry Cutshall has extensive experience formulating paving materials.
  • Our Dr. Gerald Keep has extensive experience formulating with glass fibers in composites.
  • We are right next door to the Washington County Highway Department, who has already discussed with us formulating with old tire rubber.
  • If we turn lignin into an asphalt-like material, the projects can be combined.
  • Perhaps we’d have some intellectual property (patent) rights that come out of the reformulation effort

What we still need:

  • Time to reformulate materials
  • Scale-up to Pilot scale
  • Testing and trials
  • A collection site
  • Scale-up to manufacturing scale
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