Testing of the BIRBALAS project begins in the Basque Country

 

COMSA, IN CONSORTIUM WITH SIDENOR, ELINFE, SAITEC AND IN COLLABORATION WITH TECNALIA, HAS STARTED THE TESTS OF THE BIRBALAS PROJECT IN A SECTION OF THE RAILWAY NETWORK MANAGED BY THE BASQUE PUBLIC ENTITY EUSKAL TRENBIDE SAREA IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF DERIO (VIZCAYA).

The initiative consists of the development and validation of railway ballast and sub-ballast products from recovered steel aggregate from electric arc furnace steelworks and will allow a second life to be given to the waste from this industry, which accounts for 400,000 Tm in the Basque Country every year.

The aim of BIRBALAS is to analyse the technical and market feasibility of using this product in the railway sector, taking into account its sustainable and environmental specifications that will promote intelligent management of preventive maintenance of the ballast, as well as the generation of new materials to replace traditional ballast.

Steel aggregate is a waste product obtained as a by-product of the steel manufacturing process in electric arc furnace steelworks. This process consists of two stages: the first is the melting of the raw materials in the electric arc furnace, and the second is the refining of the molten bath, which ends in the ladle furnace.

The start of the tests in Derio is a further step in the BIRBALAS project, subsidised by the Hazitek programme of the Basque Government, which will open up a new way of managing the surplus of this waste in the region, in accordance with the strategic guidelines for the circular economy promoted by the Department of the Environment and Territorial Policy.