Home > Library > NESTEC 2021 Paper: Plastic Recycling-An Investigation Into The Properties And Prospects Of Plastic Tiles

NESTEC 2021 Paper: Plastic Recycling-An Investigation Into The Properties And Prospects Of Plastic Tiles

ABSTRACT

It is very clear that Nigeria has a waste problem. With the advent of modernization and urbanization has come the production of tons of different kinds of waste products of which plastics constitute a great percentage. Normally, it would be convenient to just discard those waste materials, but recycling is getting more popular every day. This paper narrows down the investigation into waste recycling to plastics and looks more specifically at the prospects of tiles made with plastics and sand. This research paper evaluates the physical and mechanical properties of plastic tiles as compared to the conventional cement tiles. The results obtained have showed that tiles made from different proportions of plastic and sand has the properties and potential to be a suitable alternative to cement tiles.

Keywords: Plastic waste. Fine sand. Plastic tiles. Properties.

Author: Ani Kenechukwu Paul

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Plastic Recycling- An Investigation Into The Properties And Prospects Of Plastic Tiles

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209 thoughts on “NESTEC 2021 Paper: Plastic Recycling-An Investigation Into The Properties And Prospects Of Plastic Tiles

  1. With all these plastics littered everywhere, this is a very important discovery. Kudos to the author.

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      1. Am really impressed, never knew those stuffs could even still be put to use…well done, Mr kenechukwu

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        1. Thank you sir. We all learn everyday, it’s my pleasure to enlighten as many people as possible on this subject.

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment sir. We can always keep in touch on this platform.

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  2. Wow. Brilliant. Just brilliant. This is a brilliant step in relieving the world of its excesses. It’s one thing to dispose waste and another to transform it to something of economic value. Please keep me updated on the progress of the project. I would like to be a part of it if there were an opportunity.

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment Kingsley. I’ll make sure to keep you updated.

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  3. Wow. This is brilliant considering the amount of plastic waste generated in this country. Kudos.

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    1. I’m happy to do my bit for the good of the environment. Thank you for your comment.

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  4. Wow.. this is a well orchestrated piece…never seen an article so we’ll articulated…damn…this is simply amazing ✌️

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  5. Wow this is awesome research considering the amount of plastic waste generated by the country. Kudos

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    1. Indeed. We need to start thinking about how to manage them properly and this research provides a viable option. Thank you for your comment.

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      1. Mr writer,what do u think should done to hinder and mine the littered of plastics, in view of the fact that they are not really worthless??

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        1. There are a lot of things that should be done, by the government as well as the private sector.

          The waste management authorities should provide systems of waste segregation and advice people to sort their wastes before disposal and also provide distinct disposal points for recyclable and non-recyclable wastes.

          The unfortunate failure of government to meet these tasks is what has necessitated the emergence of the private sector. The companies involved should have scavenging systems where they go around the towns and clean up the streets and gutters of these recyclable materials. They should also have close contacts with residents of the area to educate them on proper waste management.

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          1. I think one of the major issues with this is the fact that many people, especially people who are educated, tend to see this kind of enterprise as dirty or unbefitting for a degree holder. This also needs to be addressed.

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          2. Great point raised there Onyinye. Perception goes a very long to determine reality. We can’t deny that these ideologies exist, but in my opinion, holding such a conviction only proves that one is less educated as should be.

            It is educated people who should bring up conversations and discus innovative ideas like this and work hard towards their implementation to reap the potentials that it holds.

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  6. So many salient points noted, points usually ignored.

    I’d take another look at the article, this time with pen and notebook.

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  7. Recycling plastic waste!! It’s a better way of controlling environmental pollution, producing raw materials for Engineering components and so on.
    You did a very wonderful job here Mr Kenechukwu.

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  8. There’s a whole lot of wonderful and innovative ideas here, all of which can prove to be so helpful, keep it up nwannem.

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    1. Finally, we can have something we can do with all these plastics littering everywhere, thank you for your comment sir.

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  9. You have really done a great work and this is an area yet to be explored, keep it up Mr. Kenechukwu. I also want to ask ” is there any other binder you added to the molten plastic, if no will the plastic alone be sufficient to bind the sand and also provide ductility and other inherent properties?”

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment Dan. For the process described, plastic is the only binder.

      Plastic have a high level of ductility and toughness. When melted, the resulting liquid is one with very high viscosity. These properties make them very suitable to be used as good binders and ensure optimum values of hardness, ductility and other necessary properties for the tile.

      However, as engineers, we know there is always an opportunity for improvement. Further research could reveal other materials which could be added to further improve its properties. Thank you.

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  10. Plastic recycling does it apply for all polymers or specifically a kind of polymer? Cos transforming them to tile which can apply to all grade of polymer will be a nice idea. Atleast the ecosystem will have a little more rest of us humans littering the environment. And it would atleast reduce global warming. Nice piece

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    1. The transformation of plastic to tiles does not work for all kinds of plastic polymers.

      Plastic number 3 which is known as Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) ie, typical plastic water-proof bags, water sachets, etc, show the best results.

      Plastic number 2, known as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) can also be used in the process, but the results are better when LDPE is used.

      Some plastic resins are difficult to recycle, but technology exists which can turn all kinds of plastic to combustible fuels.

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        1. A process known as plastic pyrolysis can turn plastic cans into diesel. Broadly, it involves the burning of the plastics to vaporization, condensing the vapour and passing it through the process of fractional distillation.

          The diesel produced from this process can be used to power diesel cars and engines.

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      1. I’m sorry for the typographic error here. It’s plastic number 1 that is PET not number 2.
        Number 2 is HDPE

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  11. Almost all plastic is non-biodegradable, and this causes systematic harm to natural ecosystems. I once read that a lot of waste plastic that enters the Earth’s ocean every year causing damage to the aquatic ecosystem and large ocean garbage patches. Recycling can be part of reducing plastic in the waste stream.

    Good work sir

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    1. Indeed waste management and recycling, specifically plastics is something that we need to take very seriously. Thank you for your lovely comment, it’s well appreciated.

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  12. This is a good move. I feel unhappy seeing all the plastics littered on the streets and drainages, especially understanding that they are non-biodegradable.
    But, hope the tiles won’t constitute health hazards after undergoing the manufacturing processes

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    1. Thank you for your question.
      The tiles? No. There are no health hazards associated with the tiles themselves.

      The process of production, however, poses the risk of inhaling the vapour from the plastic. Although the melting process should not be done in such a way that the plastic begins to boil and evaporate, there will still be some gases that will be emitted as the melting progresses. This is the reason why the operator should wear an industrial nose mask and the operation should be carried out in a well ventilated area.

      Those gases emitted by the burning of plastics actually have economic value. They can be recycled to form diesel or used in generation of electricity. A fully functional system where this process is carried out should have adequate organs where those gases can be utilized and properly recycled.

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  13. This sounds like a good innovation.
    Have these tiles been used anywhere or is all this still just theoretical?

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    1. The technology has been discovered in other parts of the world, notably in India and other parts of Africa, such as Rwanda, Cameroon and Uganda. I’ve also found evidence that such tiles made from plastic and sand have been produced in parts of Lagos and Abuja, here in Nigeria, but they have not been utilized and produced as much as they should.

      The plastic litters still increase by the day, and the environment suffers the more. This project will be a real success when plastic wastes are properly diverted to recycling plants and no more left to litter the streets.

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  14. Good article. With all this discovery of the issues prevalent in Nigeria as pertaining waste, are there enough recycling companies in Nigeria that will help see that recyclable wastes are recycle. Also, how to u intend to gather the waste?

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    1. Thank you very much for your question.
      In truth, we do not have many actual recycling companies in Nigeria. That’s part of the reason why we send most of our wastes to the landfills and the incineration sites.

      Most companies involved in the recycling and waste management sector only carry out preliminary operations such as baling and grinding and sell the materials to foreign or local recycling companies which carry out the actual recycling process. Some others collect and sell to such companies.

      I’ve been involved in collecting and selling waste plastics to local companies for two years, so the collection of waste plastics will not be much of a problem. I have a network (local scavengers) who deliver those materials for a reward. This system has been operational in the University of Nigeria Nsukka campus since 2019.

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  15. “can the tiles produced by this method be used as indoor tiles as well or are just for outdoor pavements??” …….Nice one 🙌🏼

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  16. Thank you very much for this important question.
    For modern houses, these tiles will serve best as outdoor pavements tiles. They are not as shiny and fancy as indoor ceramic tiles.

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    1. Is there no way to improve the properties of these times to make them suitable for use as indoor tuoes as well? I mean it’s utility for outdoor settings is more than satisfactory, but the limits and possibilities can be extended, don’t you think??

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      1. Thank you sir for this important question.
        A process known as polyvinyl coating or PVC coating is a technique that can be used to improve the appearance of the tiles (although there is no proof of application of this technique on tiles made of plastic and sand) to make them a bit more suitable for use as indoor tiles. It involves the coating of Polyethylene polymer with polyvinyl chloride (which is another plastic resin).
        This technique, however, theoretically speaking, will affect the strength and water-proof qualities of the tiles due to the fact that the level of miscibility of different plastic resins in each other is very low.

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    1. Thank you for your question Esther.

      These tiles can last at least twice as long as conventional concrete tiles. This is as a result of the non-biodegradable nature of plastics and its high toughness.

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  17. ‘Plastics can also be subjected to a pyrolysis
    process which results in the production of diesel which can be used to run diesel engines’ this is what I captured in your beautiful essay

    What Plant can address this?

    And since diesel engines contribute to environmental pollution do we need diesels running machine in our future plans?

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  18. I appreciate your question sir,
    The transformation of plastics to diesel an be carried out on a large scale with suitable machines which can be imported China. This is a large scale project and will require a lot of capital and knowledge in the field.

    Indeed the burning of fossil fuels like diesel pollutes the atmosphere, but the production of diesel is not the primary subject of my research. Thank you.

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  19. Insightful research. This will definitely have a good effect of the environment if it’s really maximized.

    One question though, are there any other binders added to the procedure of production of these tiles?

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    1. Thank you for this question.
      No, there are no binders added. Plastic serves as the binder for the tiles. Due to their high ductility and toughness, they’re very very suitable for this function.

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  20. Just one word…. Brilliant. This is definitely a nice work done. I just hope that it is well utilized here in Nigeria. I look forward to working with you on that regard. Keep me updated

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    1. Thank you for your comment sir. I also look forward to working with as many as are interested in the project. You can reach me @kenechukwupaul17@gmail.com.

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  21. 😄Firstly, I’d like to commend you for this exceptional work. Well done Sir.
    Unlike ceramic, plastic is not fire resistant and the fumes are quite toxic both to humans and the environment, not to mention that it’s a fuel. There are countless cases of fire accidents everyday. What measures are put in place to counteract these characteristics in a situation where there’s a fire outbreak?

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    1. Thank you for this very brilliant question.
      The fact is that, in cases of a fire outbreak, plastic tiles will pose more of a challenge than conventional cement tiles, for all the reasons that you so intelligently outlined.

      However, it’s important to note that these tiles are recommended for outdoor pavements not indoor use, so it’s not positioned in a place where it can contribute to greater difficulty, in a case where there’s a fire outbreak.

      Other precautionary measures such as having fire extinguishers around are always emphasized nonetheless.

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  22. Interesting research. And very timely too. There’s a lot of waste plastics around that litter the surroundings and hurt the environment. I hope this is a sustainable project.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. It is indeed a sustainable invention. Plastics have become a hardly duspensable material in today’s world and as long as plastics are existing, this technology will remain relevant.

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  23. I thought plastics were soft materials. How is it possible that can be used to make pavement tiles that show high levels of hardness?

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    1. Thank you for this thoughtful question. Polyethylene is a thermoplastic. That is a property that makes it very soft on heating and then it hardens on cooling. This makes it possible for them to be mixed with sand when soft and molten, and when it cools down, it becomes harder forming a very hard reinforcement for sand.

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        1. Thank you very much for this question.
          Thermosets and thermoplastics are two types of plastics which are differentiated based on their reaction to the application of heat. Thermosets strengthen permanently when cooled after heating, thermoplastics also harden after heating, but they can be reheated, remolded and cooled over again without causing any chemical changes.

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  24. I thought plastics are soft materials. How then is it possible to use them in making pavement tiles that show such high levels of hardness?

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    1. I think this question was repeated ma. I’ve already attended to the first question. Thank you for your time.

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  25. First of all, well done for this very educative research work.
    One question. Are these “plastic tiles” affected by the environment in form of corrosion?

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    1. Thank you for your question.
      Plastics are non-biodegradable. They are not decomposed by the environment. This completely eliminates the possibility of corrosion of any other form of environmental attack.
      Plastics are also water resistant, as a result of the property, the possibility of algae formation (as is very rampant with concrete tiles) is also reduced to a very low minimum.

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  26. Great work sir. I really enjoyed going through your paper. This is a very important research. I hope the standards organizations will approve of the quality of these tiles and they can be produced in bulk.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. The signs are good and the blueprint is clear. The results shown and illustrated in the paper are standard and easily reproducible. The local procedure described in my paper is labor intensive for bulk production of the tiles. There’s a mechanized process which will be more effective for bulk production. I intentionally described the local process in order to provide proper insight to the chemical and physical processes involved.

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    1. Thank you sir for this question. I don’t suppose you read the paper, but nonetheless, it’s indeed possible, plastic tiles. Although, not entirely plastic, more like a composite material made of plastic and fine sand.

      The production process broadly involves, melting plastics and mixing them thoroughly with sand and molding them to be used as interlocking tiles.

      The resulting properties are really impressive and the product has a lot of potential if they can be invested in and produced en mass.

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  27. Nice work bringing up this issue of waste management in Nigeria. To stretch the conversation a bit, a lot of municipal solid waste is generated in our cities all over the country, tons of them. Households generate these wastes and mix them all up together and dispose them, is there a way to address this, because sorting waste, I think it has to be one of the first steps in getting waste management right in Nigeria. How can this be improved on or encouraged?

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    1. Thank you for this very important question. Waste management has to be a collective effort. One that is contributed to by every player in the society. Like you very rightly stated, sorting of wastes into separate categories is a fundamental step to proper waste management.

      Education. That’s the only way this issue can be really addressed. The local people need to be educated on the effects of wrong waste management practices and the need for proper ones. They should be encouraged to sort their wastes from the home. They should be given some kind of incentive or reward for compliance with this directive, that will help to encourage others to also key in to the practice.

      Finally, the government and involved private actors should have appropriate systems where these sorted wastes can be diverted to and properly disposed or recycled.

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  28. Your research work is interesting. The idea of the possibility of transforming plastics to tiles is quite amazing. I found something confusing while going through your paper…, Is there a difference between burning plastics and heating plastics? Because according to you, the burning of plastics emmut gases that are harmful to man and the environment, isn’t that the same thing as heating the plastics as described in your procedure?

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    1. Thank you Chijioke for your comment.
      To answer your question, yes, there is a clear difference between burning plastics and heating them.

      Generally speaking, heating means to increase the temperature of a body, while burning means “to enflame” or set a body on fire.

      In the context of this research, when plastics are burned, they are reduced to ashes which are completely useless. When heated in a melting barrel, however, they melt and form a liquid. The plastics are not to be set on fire and then put in the barrel, but the heat should be applied from outside the barrel so that the temperature of the plastics can increase to their melting point.

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  29. Well done on coming up with such an interesting article. Your explanation of waste recycling was mainly focused on plastics. What order materials constitute recyclable waste?

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    1. Thank you sir for this question.
      Wastes can be group as organic and inorganic wastes. The organic wastes are the biodegradable wastes such as food wastes. The inorganic wastes comprise of the non-biodegradable wastes and some others that are not naturally occurring materials yet they are biodegradable. An example of such material is paper.

      Other recyclable materials include metals of all kinds which are found in different kinds of household equipment. Paper is also another common recyclable material.

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  30. The hardness levels in the graphs shown in the paper seem unbelievable. Are there any other hardening procedure that the plastic tiles pass through in order to achieve such high hardness levels?

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    1. Thank you for your question. No. There are no other hardening procedures. Like I explained in earlier conversations, Polyethylene is a thermosetting material, which means that it hardens permanently after being heated and cooled. From a certain perspective, than can be viewed as being very similar to the hardening heat treatment of steel to form martensite, but that’s all that produces such hardness.

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  31. Thank you Chijioke for your comment.
    To answer your question, yes, there is a clear difference between burning plastics and heating them.

    Generally speaking, heating means to increase the temperature of a body, while burning means “to enflame” or set a body on fire.

    In the context of this research, when plastics are burned, they are reduced to ashes which are completely useless. When heated in a melting barrel, however, they melt and form a liquid. The plastics are not to be set on fire and then put in the barrel, but the heat should be applied from outside the barrel so that the temperature of the plastics can increase to their melting point.

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  32. This is a nice and innovative approach of harnessing waste materials and using them for by_products which reduces environmental hazards and proffers solution to human needs.

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  33. But if I may ask, Mr writer considering the way these plastics which u are advocating to be refined are been littered around in various slums around, don’t u think that they are actually harmful to our health??

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    1. Absolutely. That is part of the problems to which this research proffers a solution. The litters of plastic waste is an eye sore, harmful to bother human health and the environment. Thousands, if not millions, of these materials are used and discarded every single day, we must find a way to divert these materials into an economically profitable system.

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  34. Commendations on this research work. It seems like something that can be really benefitial. My question, how can this special tile be successfully introduced into the market because you clearly refered to competing with conventional concrete tiles, how do you plan to take over the market with this product?

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    1. Thank you for this very important and practical question.

      The target market for this product will be organizations or individuals who are carrying out building projects. Our plan will be to identify and approach such organizations or individuals and offer them free samples of the tiles.

      Subsequent to that, pricing will also be used as a viable tool to take and edge and compete with conventional concrete tiles. The resources employed in the production of these tiles are of low cost as opposed to limestone and cement used in producing conventional tiles. Consequently, plastic tiles will cost less than the conventional ones.

      Another main part of our plan to inculcate this is by educating locals on the effects of wrong waste management and the importance of innovations such as this.

      All these will definitely see that in the near future, plastic tiles will become the favorite choice for outdoor pavements.

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  35. This is interesting.
    I’d like to know, what kind of moulds are used in the procedure described in the paper? That is, what material are the moulds made of?

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  36. Thank you for your question Daniel,
    The moulds can be made of either metal or plastic, it doesn’t matter. However, it’s important, as was pointed out in the paper, to apply oil to the inside of the mould. The purpose of this is to prevent the blend of plastic and sand from sticking to the walls of the mould.

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    1. However Daniel, it’s important to state that metal moulds are preferred for the procedure because with plastic moulds, if the setup has been heated for too long even after sand has been added, there is a possibility that the plastic moulds itself will begin to melt. If the operator is making use of plastic moulds (usually made OF HDPE), the setup should not be allowed to heat for too long in the mixing barrel after the sand has been added.

      Metals however, have much higher melting points than plastic and so cannot be melted by the hot mixture of sand and plastic.

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  37. Mr kenechukwu pls are there any means to ascertain the quality of other forms of recycled plastic asides tiles??

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    1. Thank you for this question.
      Yes. Other forms of recycled plastics include polyester for making clothes, as well as new bottles and cans from one’s, etc. Their quality can be determined by experts in the field. This can be done by investigating the properties of their textures and composition and also comparing them to the original products made from the raw materials.

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  38. Sir, pls I want to know if recycling a particular piece of plastic over and over again will lead to the reduction of its quality??

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    1. Thank you for this question sir.
      The answer is “yes”. Recycling plastics to new plastics will reduce the quality of the bottles.
      Plastic PET bottles can be recycled to new bottles through a complex series of machine operations. The products are usually designed as r-PET, which means “recycled PET”.
      However, the level of degradation of the r-PET depends on the sophistication level of the machine operations. Some advanced methods can get r-PET up to about 80% quality of the original product. Only PET bottles and HDPE containers can be recycled back to their original forms although with reduced quality.

      A more common way of recycling PET bottles however is the production of polyester which is used in making fabrics for clothing.

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      1. That sounds interesting. Plastic to clothing. Well, I suppose such operations are machanized. I don’t know if any company does that in Nigeria..

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        1. Well, I can’t say for sure. I think it’s quite unlikely.

          In the past many countries, both African and western after recycling plastic bottles to pellets, export them to China, where they would be turned to polyester fabrics. China stopped accepting the importation of wastes recently and most of such operations are now carried out in the west and Europe.

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  39. This is a good project, which will require adequate funds to make this very successful

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  40. First of all, I’d like to commend you on this paper.
    Part of the safety and accuracy precautions you outlined were that the heat should be controlled and not allowed to get too hot to the point where the plastic starts to boil. I’d like to ask, what will happen if the plastic boils? How is it harmful.

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    1. Thank you Simeon for this question.
      As heat is applied to plastic, it gradually begins to melt and it evaporates very quickly. If the heat becomes uncontrolled, the plastic itself will begin to burn with a vigorous flame and before long, all the plastic will have evaporated. This is also the reason why it is specified that heat should be applied from outside the melting barrel.

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  41. Good day sir. I found your production method and the simplicity of your analysis quite impressive. I understand that the described process is suitable for an experimental production of these tiles to ascertain their suitability. However, for a case where this project becomes bigger, is this local procedure using simple tools suitable for the production of these tiles on a large scale?

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment and the question.
      On a large scale, it would serve better to think about mechanizing the process. This will help for speed of production, uniformity of production and better quality control. There are machines which can serve specific purposes as described in the article and produce the tiles in a shorter time with enhanced accuracy.

      However, the local process does not entirely lose significance in large scale settings, it can still be employed probably due to unavailability of resources and capital to acquire the necessary machinery. In this case, a high level of specialization and meticulousity is required to maintain the product quality.

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  42. Great job!
    But my question is…You said that the results shown in your paper are results obtained from using LDPE. My question is, what common materials are made from LDPE material?

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    1. Thank you for this question sir.
      A very common example of LDPE materials are pure water sachets, and water proof bags.

      Other common examples of the other plastic resins are:
      PET : Plastic beverage bottles like coke bottles.
      HDPE: Gallons like ground nut oil gallons or kegs.
      PVC: Pipes used in building.
      PP: Hangers.
      PS: Cartons.

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  43. I’ve read about some countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe that placed abs on single-use plastics. Shouldn’t Nigeria also be looking and thinking towards that direction if plastics are that much of a problem?

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    1. Yes. I think it’s a matter that the Nigerian law makers should definitely look into. However you know as much as I do, that Nigeria has other matters which her legislators will most likely consider more immediately pressing than the issue of plastic pollution.

      In any case, it is highly important that government takes some steps to either stop excessive usage of plastics or to invest reasonably in the recycling of these materials. I personally prefer the latter to the former considering the fact that plastics have become an integral part of modern life, for which we can hardly find a substitute.

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      1. What about finding a way to enhance or modify the micro-structures and properties of plastics so that they can become biodegradable so they no longer cause such a problem to the environment. How feasible is that?

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        1. Yes. I did make mention of the ongoing attempts by scientists to produce bio-degradable plastics. I can’t tell whether it’s feasible or not since, I’m not closely involved in the experiments. But the fact that it’s being looked into implies that there’s a possibility for it.

          It would indeed be a breakthrough invention if it eventually becomes a reality. It would solve a lot of problems currently encountered with plastic materials.

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  44. This is an important research. Well done.
    I’d like to know, in describing the production steps, you stated that a ratio of 75% sand and 25% plastic is suitable for the interlocking pavement tiles. what is the basis of measurement?

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    1. Thank you for your question Kenneth.
      The basis of measurement for the process is the weight. The sand should weigh three times as much as the plastic.

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  45. Nice work 👍👍, but my question is what is the contribution and relevance of the research work as regards to sustainable development goals.

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  46. Thank you very much for this important question.
    Very vital of you to mention the UN-SDGs. As you know, they’re principles which are to govern modern enterprises to ensure profitability as well as environmental conservation. Plastic recycling, and indeed, all kinds of recycling practices are business enterprises to which the sustainable goals are very pivotal.

    Environmental protection and conservation is a major factor for the undertaking of plastic recycling, with the aim of creating an enterprise that will also generate wealth, it almost seems like a fairytale.

    Considering, the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs), my research is an ideal.

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  47. Good discovery. Are there any technical skills required in order to carry out this procedure or can this be done successfully by a complete novice?

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    1. Thank you Tochukwu for this important question. The great thing about the procedure is that it requires little or no expertise or previous knowledge in the field. It’s very simple and easy to follow step by step.
      Yes, it can be carried on by a novice while following the steps gradually and seeking clarification at any point he/she may be confused. However, the individual must be careful to observe and adhere strictly to the safety and error precautions to avoid getting hurt and achieving the optimum results.

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  48. I think this is quite a commendable discovery. I want to ask, how capital intensive is this project?

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    1. Thank you for this question.
      Actually, the project, as described in my paper, isn’t that capital intensive. An estimated budget of N20,000 can provide for all the tools and equipment required for the process (excluding the cost for land).
      The project is more labor intensive than capital intensive.

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    1. Thank you for your question.
      The plastic tiles will definitely cost much less than the conventional cement tiles. This is due to its lower monetary cost of production.

      This is also a major highlight to its potentially high competitiveness with the usual tiles.

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  49. Well done on this discovery. I want to ask about the installation process of these tiles. Are they installed in a different way from the conventional cement tiles? Or is it the same method?

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    1. Thank you for this question Chibueze, the installation method for these tiles is no different from that of conventional tiles. All the preliminary preparations which include clearing and smoothening the site are employed. The tiles are firmly set to interlock and then reinforced at the edges using cement.

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  50. Also, youth unemployment is a major concern in Nigeria today, with crime rates and insecurity souring through the skies, is there any way your project addresses this issue??

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  51. Absolutely. This project holds the potential of creating tens of jobs. Working at a reasonable capacity, a factory with multiple units of melting barrels and molding points could employ at least 20 people.

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    1. Thank you chigozie for that important question.

      The mechanized or industrialized version of this project sees the substitution of the melting barrel, the fire and all other tools used to melt and mix plastics with a machine known as an extruder. It has an opening where the plastic and sand are poured in and mixed together at high temperatures. It results in a hot paste-like substance which is then transfered using conveyor belts to the presser which contains the moulding pattern and an upper cover to apply pressure on the tile and compress it to form the shape of the mould.

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    1. I’m not sure if you’re asking about the local procedure or the mechanized procedure, but seeing you’ve already asked about the mechanized process above, I suppose it’s the same interest.

      A well functional unit system running on stable power for at least 6 working hours can produce as much as 500 tiles per day.

      The production capacity however is much less for the local procedure as it is more labor intensive and workers would get tired much faster. It takes more than 30 minutes to produce one tile by the method described in my paper. So the production capacity per day could be estimated at 20 tiles maximum.

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  52. This is a very commendable project and a business plan can be clearly seen. If these tiles are really what have been described in you paper, then I think you’re really up to something potentially benefitial.

    Assume this becomes like a business enterprise, in what areas should the business be located considering proximity to resources and the target market?

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    1. Thank you Daniel. I’m glad you see it that way. It’s a great opportunity to bring value out if waste products.

      To answer your question, many cities in Nigeria have areas where they call “industrial areas” that’s where most factories and companies are located away from residential areas in order to minimize noise pollution and disturbances. However, considering proximity to plastic wastes which is the major raw material, such a business should not be located too far away from the residential areas. If there is a part of the industrial areas which is a bit closer to residential areas, that would be ideal. Or maybe you could be thinking about locating the factory away from the residential areas while having an office at the heart of the city.

      Considering the target market also buttresses this point. The target market for this product are people involved in real estate and individuals or organizations carrying out building projects.

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    1. Thank you for this question.

      As far as I can tell, these tiles provide improvement to virtually all the properties of cement tiles (which hold monopoly in the sector currently).

      However, considering the constant dynamism of society and engineering trends, I can’t say that they are without limitations.
      It’s important to note one major limitation of this product would is the fact that it would be difficult to deal with in the case of a fire outbreak.

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    1. Thank you for this important question.
      The tiles are suitable for outdoor pavements.
      There are no general specifications which characterize where the tiles can be used per se. However, there are a few requirements and operations which must be carried out on a surface before the application or installation of tiles. The surface must be cleaned and properly smoothened before tiles can be applied.

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  53. How much waste is generated in Nigeria and how much of those wastes are comprised of plastic materials?

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    1. Apologies for the late reply.
      In Nigeria, about 32 million tons of solid wastes are generated each year. Of that amount, plastics constitute about 2.5 million tons and only about 12% of that is recycled.

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  54. The base polymer for your experiment is polyethylene, whether in the case of PET or LDPE. My question is wat is the melting point of these polymers?

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    1. Thank you for this question sir. Polyethylene generally melts at temperatures of 120°C and above. As heating progresses to higher temperatures of about 300°C, degradation begins to occur and liquid as well as gaseous substances are formed.

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  55. This is an impressive invention.
    My question is, after the production process,how long does it take for the plastic tiles to be ready for use?

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    1. Thank you for your question sir. After removing the tiles from the mould, they are left for at least two hours to cool down and solidify.

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  56. This is impressive. The tiles seem like they can really compete and solve the problem of plastic waste pollution. What I want to know is, after the production of these tiles, do they have to be certified by any body or organization in order to ascertain its suitability before use?

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    1. Thank you for this important question. The council of registered builders of Nigeria (CORBON) regulates construction and buildings in Nigeria, however, the quality of the products used in building are usually subject to the judgment of the resident structural or civil engineer unless he/she is registered with CORBON.
      Producers of building materials are not under the jurisdiction of this organization.

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  57. Thank you for your question sir. After removing the tiles from the mould, they are left for at least two hours to cool down and solidify.

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