Sacyr Mobile Hydroclean, (street cleaning with highly pressurized water) developed by Rubén Jover, Rafael Parias, Miguel Ángel Moreno, and Pablo Mochón, is one of the winners of our “Sacyr for the climate” environmental challenges program in the water footprint reduction category.
This initiative, applicable to road concession and conservation works, aims to develop a continuous water purification system capable of recycling the water used in pressurized hydrocarbon water operations. This technique improves the transverse friction coefficient (TFC), or the condition of the road surface, using pressurized water.
The road surface can be repaired with micro-roughing, micro-milling, or retexturing. Sacyr Concessions uses the latter because it is the least aggressive (pressurized water), but it is not without its drawbacks: the water picks up grime from the hydrocarbons, for example. To operate this system we have a cleaning unit, consisting of a truck equipped with crossbars on the bottom (with 96 nozzles each) that spray water against the asphalt, then rotate to collect and store the dirty fluid.
This system can circulate on public roads, towed by the hydro-milling or cleaning machine, which purifies the dirty water by separating the solids from the hydrocarbons, so it can be re-used at least 8-9 times, establishing a closed water circuit. This action consumes 10,000 liters of water for every kilometer of lane treated.
The dirty water is stored in the truck and the machine is stopped. The hydrocarbon water is emptied, treated, recycled, and the truck is refilled with clean water. Roughly 4-5 kilometers can be treated in a 12-hour period.
“We have invented a mobile purifier that cleans dirty water while moving in one hour. The purifier, which is towed, has allowed us to triple our performance,” explains Rubén Jover, head of R+D+i for Sacyr Concessions.
This initiative to continuously purify hydrocarbon water reduces water consumption by 8-9x.
The project will be submitted to a CDTI public financing program for implementation and could be up and running in 2021.