Chinese researchers have found a new use for electronic trash, they've developed a new recycling technique which turns the trash into a powder that can be mixed with asphalt to create stronger roads that are less likely to suffer malleability at high temperatures.
As it turns out, China is one of the largest recipients of this unwanted trash. However, a new study outlines the use of several components of the ubiquitous circuit board in a rather unusual place: paving asphalt. Zhenming Xu and his team of researchers based in China have been experimenting with using the discarded tech trash to strengthen asphalt and have developed a new recycling technique that separates the harmful materials, which often include mercury and cyanide, from the actual useful product, the PCB.
After the separation process occurs, what remains is a fine, non-metallic powder of glass fibers and resin. Xu's group experimented with the powder, adding it to normal asphalt and found that with the right mixture and particle size, the asphalt was not only strengthened dramatically, but much less likely to suffer malleability at high temperatures.