Progress in the three R&D Extraco projects selected in ConectaPeme 2018

The three R&D Extraco projects selected in the ConectaPeme 2018 edition, “Alfiller”, “Topacio and Geo4Radón, are progressing according to plan and nearing the end of their second year

Regarding the first project, “Alfiller: Recovery of filler material from asphalt plants for developing cement-based eco-products” (File no. IN852A 2018/39), the physical, mechanical and chemical characterization of the waste filler recovered from Extraco’s bituminous material manufacturing plant has been completed. The proportions of masonry and lining mortar and grout have also been identified. Concurrently, the research team based in Grupo de Construcción (gCONS) of ETS Ingenieros de Caminos de la Universidade da Coruña (UDC) and directed by professors Belén González Fonteboa and Fernando Martínez Abella (senior researchers), is analyzing the life cycle and carbon footprint of the newly designed products.

Fig. Tests on concrete designed under “Alfiller”.

The project “Topacio: Optimization Technologies for the management of infrastructures used to prevent forest fires” (File no. IN852A 2018/37) has improved the accuracy of the systems used to gather data on site, with drones and LiDAR technologies, in different real-life scenarios such as the Ourense-Celanova Highway (AG-31) and the Baixa Limia – Serra do Xurés nature park. Complementary meteorological stations have been placed in order to determine the fire rate algorithms in the areas under study, and new analysis and data systems are being developed in order to process the information gathered, as well as new software architectures for more effective processing, including a “citizen sensing” app. For this project’s development, Extraco is working in partnership with the Grupo de Geotecnologías Aplicadas (GEOTECH) of Universidade de Vigo (UVIgo) and Centro de Investigación Forestal de Lourizán, part of the Galician food quality agency, Axencia Galega da Calidade Alimentaria (AGACAL)-Xunta de Galicia, coordinated by professor Higinio González Jorge.

Fig. UAV (drone) used in the
Highway Ourense-Celanova measurements under “Topacio”.

Lastly, very significant advances have been made in the project “Geo4Radón: Projection and enhancement of geothermal heating systems and analysis of the effect of drilling in the diffusion of radon gas ”(File no. IN852A 2018/38), such as the execution and projection of plants for harvesting geothermal energy to be built in Extraco’s headquarters in Ourense, under the supervision of professor José Fernández Seara, from the Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Engines and Machinery and Fluids Group of Universidade de Vigo (UVigo).

These three projects are financed by the Galician innovation agency, Axencia Galega de Innovación (GAIN) – Consellería de Economía, Emprego e Industria of the regional government of Galicia, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Fig. Prospecting works drilling geothermal wells under project Geo4radón
at Extraco’s headquarters in Ourense.