According to a statistical data, 6 trillion cigarettes are produced globally each year, and cigarettes cause nearly 1.2 million tons of waste, most of which are toxic wastes. Now Dr Abbas Mohajerani, a professor at Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), has found a new way to safely handle cigarette butts. They hope to use these cigarettes on road paving materials.
Filters are the main part of cigarette waste, and researchers at RMIT University plan to use these asphalts to pave the way by wrapping these wastes in asphalt. The advantage of using this method is that bitumen can prevent the toxic substances in cigarette butts from getting into the environment; on the other hand, the thermal conductivity of bitumen mixed with cigarette butts is significantly enhanced.
By testing this reinforced bitumen sample, the team found that the sample can not only handle the busy traffic environment, but also absorb solar heat, which can help alleviate the heat island effect in the city.
The team is dedicated to studying how to add some unusual substances to asphalt to improve its performance. They once used cigarette butts to mix in building red bricks, which not only significantly reduced the weight, but also had better thermal insulation performance, which means that household heating and cooling costs can be reduced.
Dr Abbas Mohajerani stated: "This project not only created a new type of building material, but also handled environmental waste very well. There are hundreds of toxic chemicals in the cigarette filter, and the only thing we think of can control these chemicals. The way the product is made is to effectively seal it and mix it with building materials such as clay and asphalt."
At present, this research has been published in the magazine "Elsevier".
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