Knowing All about Hunan

Midnight snack yields idea for new asphalt binder

Updated:2020-06-09 16:16:52

Crayfish shell powder. [Photo provided to]

Inspired by a favorite midnight snack of crayfish, a professor and his students at Changsha University of Science and Technology in Hunan province developed a new "bio-asphalt" material, utilizing waste crayfish shell powder in the production of an environmentally sustainable high-performance asphalt binder.

One night in June last year, when Professor Lyu Songtao and his students in the school of traffic and transportation engineering went out for a midnight snack, Lyu noticed the waste of crayfish shell and asked a question: "Crayfish shells remain intact at temperatures above 200 C. Would they improve the high-temperature performance of asphalt?"

Lyu's students Xia Chengdong, Guo Yanpeng and Hu Long then undertook experiments to turn waste into wealth.

A student prepares to test the amended asphalt's performance. [Photo provided to]

A large number of experiments and repeated tests found that adding crayfish shell powder to high-temperature asphalt could improve the "creep resistance" of the asphalt binder.

The new "bio-asphalt" can improve the properties of conventional road materials and reduce the pollution of bio-waste in the environment.

The students have applied patent for the new material. Their results were published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

Article published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. [Photo provided to]