The method of introducing plastics in the composition of asphalt, an innovative solution, which aims to solve the problem of plastic pollution found by a team of researchers from "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, received the Gold Medal in the 14 - Edition of the "Euroinvent" Salon - European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation, Iași, 2022.

The technical problem solved by the invention is to replace the natural quartz sand with screed - waste resulting from the process of blasting the hulls - and to protect the environment by introducing microplastics, improving the properties of classical asphalt mixtures, by reducing the risk of cracks in the asphalt, caused by temperature variations.

"Asphalt mixtures improvement with waste grit and microplastics" is a patented solution at the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks in 2021. Carried out by a team of researchers coordinated by Professor Daniela Buruiană Ph.D., from the Department of Materials and Environmental Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering and consisting of: Associate Professor Gabriel Bogdan Carp, Ph.D., Assistant Viorica Ghisman, Ph.D., from the same faculty and Professor Puiu Lucian Georgescu Ph.D., from the Faculty of Sciences and Environment, to which is added the manager of the construction company SC Tancrad SRL Galați, Cristian Stăncic.

"The gold medal obtained honors us and makes us happy. Thanks to the team for their hard work, we try to provide the community with practical solutions to problems. Our method is also patented at the European level. We use a certain granulation, together with other additives, and thus increase the strength and elasticity of the asphalt by up to 30%. It means that in the future we may have a more prepared asphalt to withstand the temperature differences between winter and summer", explained Professor Puiu Lucian Georgescu Ph.D.

Other advantages of the technology: it permanently eliminates plastic waste, which no longer reaches the landfill, but is no longer recycled (recycling also involves costs and pollution) and reduces the cost of asphalt mixtures by using smaller amounts of bitumen.

The solution proposed by the university researchers was also submitted at the European level, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) (PCT / RO2021 / 000008).