North Carolina A&T State University researchers looking for an alternative to traditional petroleum based asphalt believe they found the right mix.
Recyclable material like old tires, old pavement, and roofing shingles combined with swine manure can be just as strong as traditional asphalt.
For example, graduate student Daniel Oldham was pleased to find that the right mix of old tires and swine manure could be used for asphalt.
“We can add 15 percent tires and still meet Department of Transportation standards,” he said.
Researchers are looking at reusable material like old tires because the United States produces 290 million scrap tires every year and only four percent are used for road construction.
When it comes to swine waste, the United States generates 6 billion gallons every year. North Carolina is the second largest producer of swine manure. Researchers like Oldham want to take waste that is sitting in lagoons and use it for a good purpose.
“If we can use that big issue and turn it into a solution then it would be good for everybody, people living around it, for the state in general,” Oldham said.
Researchers want to begin road testing swine based asphalt next year.