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Fizzano Bros. diverts plastics from landfill to commercial aggregate

Fizzano Bros. Concrete Products is proving the engineering properties and commercial potential of Resin8, a fine aggregate derived from post-consumer plastic waste, pozzolans and calcium hydroxide. The Philadelphia producer has teamed with developer, Center for Regenerative Design & Collaboration (CRDC), on testing the material’s viability as a small volume ( 10 percent) ASTM C33 aggregate substitute in concrete masonry units. Their inaugural commercial installation in the U.S. is a 15-ft. wall finished earlier this year at the Braskem America Innovation and Technology Center, a Pittsburgh facility dedicated to post-consumer plastics re-use and chemical recycling research.

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The Center for Regenerative Design & Collaboration evolved from a Costa Rica beach clean-up project to a plastic recycling solutions developer. It processes the lightweight, hybrid mineral polymer, Resin8, from waste plastics, hydrated lime and pozzolanic materials. High calcium content in the latter compounds impart strong mechanical bonding with cement.
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After an extrusion phase that melts the plastic, the porosity is conducive to optimal paste and particle distribution in mixes. Cooled material is granulated into the size, shape and gradation specific to concrete aggregate specs.
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PHOTOS: CRDC USA (Resin8 materials; Fizzano Bros. production, delivery); Braskem America (I&T Center wall)
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Fizzano Bros. has used Resin8 in production runs at its Philadelphia flagship plant, including ones for the Braskem America Innovation and Technology Center wall (right). The lightweight Resin8 exhibits great potential for a circular economy and improved plastic waste management when used to replace 5 percent to 10 percent of fine aggregate in concrete block mix designs.
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“We are proud to be the first to use Resin8 block in North America,” said Braskem America CEO Mark Nikolich. “As part of our commitment to a circular economy, Braskem believes that when plastics are used and discarded responsibly, they are essential for the life of our planet. Innovations in recycling such as this are important for the proper management of plastic waste, which allows us to continue leveraging the benefits of plastics while diverting these materials from the environment.”

“Resin8 is a working example of the Circular Economy that has the potential to scale globally,” added CRDC Chairman Donald Thomson. “We are successfully transitioning the plastic waste stream into an appreciating value stream for the concrete, construction, and housing industries. We take a zero-waste approach to resource management, which fosters a co-existence with our natural environment and provides measurable societal and financial yields.”

PATENT PATH

Founded in Costa Rica, CRDC developed Resin8 in conjunction with Pedregal, one of Central America’s largest concrete product and aggregate players. After 18 months of proof-of-concept testing with Pedregal, including construction of 200 homes with Habitat for Humanity, CRDC began working with Fizzano Bros. through a New Jersey office. Officials from both organizations discussed Resin8 processing and the aggregate’s suitability for block making earlier this year during the National Concrete Masonry Association Product Development and Creative Concepts Forum.

The Resin8 process combines mixed plastic waste, hydrated lime and organic ash. CRDC filed a U.S. Provisional Patent for it in 2018 under the name of Pre-Conditioned Resin Aggregate. The patent claims “an innovative, water-less process during the waste plastic recollection stage called ‘dry cleaning.’ It involves covering shredded plastic with a fraction of powdered Ca(OH) and ash—mineral substrates that are both known for their potent antiviral and antibacterial properties. The calcium hydroxide acts as both a desiccant and disinfectant; the resulting preconditioned waste is pathogen and odor free.”

The New Jersey satellite has enlisted Fizzano Bros. to measure performance of the insulating aggregate formulated with a range of ash and plastic waste streams. A growing database of test results support CRDC’s plans for a commercial scale production in the near future. Center officials envision construction of 50-ton/day Resin8 production facilities at or near waste recovery or concrete production locations. — Center for Regenerative Design & Collaboration, New Jersey, 646/285-2979; www.crdc.global