Miguel Ángel Sanz Coll, the person in charge of developing the waste treatment business and developing products at the used-tyre treatment plant in Chiloeches (Guadalajara, Spain), has received one of Sacyr's ‘Natural Innovators’ awards for his contribution to R&D&i.
In this case, the company has acknowledged the success of the international Fast Track Innovation project that Sanz Coll, from Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales, has carried out in collaboration with his colleagues from Sacyr Construcción, Antonio Ramírez and José Ramón Marcobal, which resulted in the industrial development of RARX, a unique and innovative product at global level and one of the great breakthroughs in R&D&i in the urban road sector.
“RARX is a revolutionary additive for producing asphalts, generated through powder made from used tyres. The used tyre powder content is greater than 60%”, Sanz Coll explains.
The plant operated by Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales in the Alcarria region is one of the most cutting edge in Europe. Every year it receives more than 25,000 tonnes of used tyres from light-duty vehicles, industrial vehicles and lorries, and use is made of them all.
“The main benefits of this product are technical and economic. RARX overcomes the current barriers on use of powder from tyres in asphalts, enabling it to be used on any site or in any situation. Its technical capacity is exceptional as it enables mixes which are highly resistant to cracking, low noise mixes and high durability mixes”, the project head explains.
The use of powder from used tyres instead of common additives also has considerable environmental benefits. RARX prevents the use of synthetic polymers – petroleum products – by increasing the use of powder from used tyres, thereby triggering a real circular economy.
RARX is a clear example of improving the way resources are exploited so as to reduce use of raw materials, and is one step further along the path towards developing sustainable cities.
For users, mixes using RARX and, therefore, using powder from tyres provide greater durability, thus reducing replacement and maintenance costs and “enabling low noise mixtures that reduce road noise by up to 5 dB”, according to Sanz Coll.
For him, the head of developing projects for the Chiloeches plant, receiving this acknowledgement by his colleagues has given “real satisfaction”. Innovating in any field entails “a lot of work and uncertainty, which is sometimes not acknowledged. Having your colleagues recognise that effort is an incentive to continue developing new ideas”, he says.