The July 2021 (7/2021) issue of leStrade reports on the developments and results of the Ecopave Project, a six-year long research funded by a call of Region Lombardia POR FESR 2024-2020.
The Ecopave project made it possible to develop a polymer supermodifier called Gipave® containing graphene and a specific type of recycled hard plastic.
The project involved 50 specialists, 20 of whom were under the age of 35 and 19 women.
Iterchimica was the leading company of the project, which also involved G. Eco, a mixed company with public-private capital jointly owned by the A2A Group (which deals with separate collection, recovery and waste disposal), Directa Plus, one of the world’s leading producers of graphene and the University of Milano Bicocca (UNIMIB).
Among the many objectives achieved there is the filing of two patents, one for the product and one for the production process. In particular, the success of Ecopave lies mainly in the ability to overcome the limits of the recycling of hard plastics, which are currently sent to waste-to-energy plants.
To date, one of the most important achievements with the patented technology Gipave®, with reference to the wearing course only (4 cm), is definitely the San Giorgio Bridge in Genoa (Highway E25), donated to the city of Genoa by Iterchimica.
The article also lists the many benefits (including the environmental ones) of using this new technology: first of all it is important to emphasize the greater road safety for users due to the better quality of the pavements and the reduction of asphalt pavement distresses; in addition thanks to Gipave® it is possible to recycle up to 75 t/km of hard plastic normally sent to waste-to-energy plants and it is possible to save 153 t/km of Co2eq.