Home News Shingle recycling research receives funding boost

Shingle recycling research receives funding boost


New England Transportation Consortium provides $250,000 toward study of recycled shingles in hot mix asphalt.

CDR Staff September 3, 2014

University of Massachusetts (UMass) Dartmouth civil and environmental engineering professor Dr. Walaa Mogawer has received $250,000 from the New England Transportation Consortium (NETC) for research on “Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Mixture Containing Recycled Asphalt Shingles.” The research is designed to further study and develop technologies in the area of pavement material construction and sustainability.

The NETC says an increase in the cost of asphalt mixtures has become a challenge for transportation agencies that generally operate with limited budgets. Furthermore, producers of asphalt mixtures are faced with the challenge to conserve natural resources and to produce environmental friendly mixtures that are cost effective. One way industry can address the challenge of conserving natural resources is by using readily available recycled materials such as recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) and reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP).

According to NETC, only 10 to 15 percent of reclaimed materials are used to build roads today. However, taxpayers already save more than $1.5 billion per year by recycling asphalt. In 2010, 20.5 million barrels of asphalt binder was conserved by the recycling of asphalt pavements and asphalt shingles. Another $1 billion worth of asphalt could be saved each year in the United States if the nearly 10 million tons of shingles that currently go into U.S. landfills were recycled, the NETC claims.

The goal of Mogawer's research will be to evaluate plant-produced HMA mixtures that contain RAS to identify the critical material properties and plant operations that are needed to produce RAS mixtures with fatigue and low temperature cracking properties equivalent or better than typical mixtures that are produced.

Dr. Mogawer serves as the director of the UMass Dartmouth Highway Sustainability Research Center (HSRC), bringing more than 20 years of experience in pavement design, maintenance, and rehabilitation to the lab alongside numerous students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering program. In addition, the lab, located at the Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center in Fall River, Massachusetts, is equipped with asphalt and pavement testing equipment and technology. Established in 2001, the lab has helped establish a working partnership with local and state agencies and private companies.

Since joining UMass Dartmouth, Dr. Mogawer has served as principal investigator on several research projects funded by MassHighway, NETC, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Mogawer received his bachelors of science degree in civil engineering from Kuwait University in 1981 and a masters and a doctorate degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Rhode Island in 1984 and 1989 respectively.

The NETC is a research cooperative between the state departments of transportation of Connecticut (ConnDOT), Maine (MaineDOT), Massachusetts (MassDOT), New Hampshire (NHDOT), Rhode Island (RIDOT) and Vermont (VTrans). The NETC is a regional partnership for the identification, prosecution and dissemination of shared transportation research initiatives.


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