Environmental impacts of reclaimed asphalt pavement on leaching of metals into groundwater

Qiang Yang, Huiming Yin, Xin He, Fangliang Chen, Ayman Ali, Yusuf Mehta, Beizhan Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To investigate the environmental impacts of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) while it was freshly processed (i.e. hot mixed asphalt or HMA) and after being subjected to weathering, three RAP materials, namely north-RAP, central-RAP, south-RAP, from three plants and one fresh HMA loose mix sample (Fresh-HMA) throughout New Jersey, USA underwent four different weathering processes including: Ultraviolet (UV) and precipitation weathering on unbounded RAP, UV and precipitation weathering on compacted RAP, weathering by heat and moisture cycles, and groundwater flow-through leaching. Batch experiments were conducted to mimic releasing of trace elements in weak acidic leachate from landfills. North-RAP and central-RAP released levels of Pb greater than the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) primary drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 15 µg/L. Novel two-column experiments (a RAP column followed by a soil column) were conducted to investigate the release of trace elements from RAP and the attenuation effect of soil on potential pollutants. The results of these experiments showed that pollutants released from RAPs such as Mn and Ni were largely attenuated in the soil. The results suggest that RAP can be used as an unbound material in environments except those acidic (i.e., pH < 5 as in mines with sulfur-containing minerals and landfills with acidic environment).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102415
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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