Asphalt production, next level

Pathbreaking technologies for asphalt with a 30% RAP material rate and for low-temperature asphalt with foamed bitumen: with a BENNINGHOVEN ECO 3000 mixing plant, contractor Balgorza S.A. is gearing itself up for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Twofold premiere: the ECO 3000 is the first BENNINGHOVEN asphalt mixing plant in Spain and also the first in the new BENNINGHOVEN design.

Spain // Vitoria-Gasteiz
In road construction and pavement rehabilitation projects alike, the importance of cost-effectiveness and environmental protection is rising in the Spanish road construction industry, too. Contractor Balgorza S.A., based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, is gearing up for the future with technologies from BENNINGHOVEN. Specializing in the production and paving of asphalt of all kinds, Balgorza have invested in making their production more sustainable, cost-efficient and sparing on resources. For instance, they have acquired the BENNINGHOVEN system for dosing into the mixer as a cold feed system. This supports a 30% RAP material rate. They have also invested in a foamed bitumen module for the production of low-temperature asphalts at a lower – and thus more energy-efficient – material temperature. Convinced by the advantages this technology offers, Balgorza became the first Spanish company to invest in a BENNINGHOVEN asphalt mixing plant – and hence in their own future.

All set for the future! Rafael Pedreira (Director General of Balgorza S.A.), Alberto Fontana (founder of EMSA) and Daniel Diaz de Argandoña (engineer at Balgorza S.A.) at the commissioning ceremony for their ECO 3000.

"More to it than meets the eye: our ECO 3000 plant has vast potential for today and tomorrow."
Rafael Pedreira, Director General Balgorza S.A.

ECO plants: Modular system delivers made-to-measure solutions

Prior to the start of production, the transport and erection proceeded quickly. After all, ECO plants offer owners maximum flexibility: the container design supports rapid changes of location at any time, while logistics costs are low. Dismantling and assembly are a simple process. Not least because of the “plug & play” principle of the electronics, ECO plants are up and running particularly quickly at new locations – a fact which also gives Balgorza flexibility. The modular structure also permits the integration of a large number of high-tech components that can be tailored to the specific requirements of asphalt mixing plant operators. This improves both economic efficiency and investment security, ensuring that Balgorza can also meet future requirements with the ECO 3000.

System for dosing into the mixer for a 30% RAP material rate

Recycling is also on the rise in Spain. It‘s a trend that Balgorza have recognized, which is why they systematically make full use of their capacities for the recycling of resources. After all, newly processed aggregate – known as mineral – is more expensive than reclaimed asphalt. To conserve resources and reuse reclaimed material from pavement rehabilitation projects directly, Balgorza opted for recycling technology from BENNINGHOVEN. With the system for dosing into the mixer as a cold feed system, an RAP material rate of up to 30% can be achieved. The feed process can be summed up as follows: a wheeled loader delivers the reclaimed or milled-off asphalt into an RAP cold feed hopper. From there the material – dosed by belt scales – is carried on an RAP elevator directly to the mixing tower, where it is fed to the 3t mixers of the ECO 3000 by a chute.

Highlights of the BENNINGHOVEN ECO asphalt mixing plant in container design:

  • 5-fold cold feed system
  • 5-deck screen
  • Precise electronic weighing of aggregate, bitumen and filler
  • Insulated twin-shaft pugmill in sizes from 1.25 to 4t
  • Filter unit in performance classes up to 78,000Nm³/h
  • Mixed material storage silo designed for positioning at the bottom or side

Recycling reclaimed asphalt: asphalts with a 30% RAP material rate can be produced with the system for dosing into the mixer as a cold feed system. BENNINGHOVEN also offer hot feed systems for 90 + X% RAP material rates.

Low-temperature asphalt saves 0.9l of heating oil per tonne

Apart from the recycling of raw materials, the amount of energy used is a major factor when it comes to operating the asphalt mixing plants efficiently, with maximum environmental friendliness. Here too, Balgorza are in the vanguard – with an innovative foamed bitumen module for producing low-temperature asphalts, a global technology trend. The asphalt is prepared at a temperature of 110°C, some 50°C lower than the 160°C required for conventional asphalt. This reduces energy consumption for asphalt production by around 9kWh/t, which equates to 0.9l of heating oil. CO2 emissions are also reduced: Balgorza’s ECO 3000 achieves this by using foamed bitumen, an innovative binding agent.

Foamed bitumen module permits reduction in temperature

The foamed bitumen is produced in a pressurized chamber that is integrated into the mixer and connected to the conventional bitumen supply system. A small quantity of water and air is then injected at high pressure into the normal bitumen, which is at a temperature of 175°C. The surface area of the bitumen rapidly expands by a factor of 20 and the resultant foamed material is then added into the mixer, where it is mixed with mineral. The large surface area causes foamed bitumen to durably coat the mineral, lending it the required durability, while the water contained in it evaporates. One of the characteristics of low-temperature asphalt is its lower viscosity, which makes it temporarily easier to pave.

Proven technology from foamed bitumen pioneer, the WIRTGEN GROUP

The production and use of foamed bitumen as a binding agent is a well established technology throughout the world. It is playing an ever more important role in road construction and pavement rehabilitation and has increasingly come to the attention of highways authorities and contractors. The WIRTGEN GROUP have been using foamed bitumen since as long ago as 1995 – and are rightly regarded as the foamed bitumen pioneers. The process was originally developed for cold recycling – a WIRTGEN speciality.

Advantages of the process:

  • Extreme durability
  • Greater economic efficiency
  • More sparing use of resources
  • Lower CO2 emissions

One of the most important properties of foamed bitumen is that the foamed binding agent coats the mineral optimally thanks to its large surface structure – delivering lasting durability.

Plant details
Commissioning of a new BENNINGHOVEN ECO 3000 asphalt mixing plant in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
ECO 3000 asphalt mixing plant
Working parameters
Mixing output: 240 t/h
Drying output: 220 t/h
Number of feed hoppers: 5-fold cold feed system, 12m3 each
3-fold cold feed system, 12m3 each
Burner: EVO JET 3 FU G-Öl combination burner for oil and natural gas, 19MW
Screen output: 220 t/h
Capacity of mixed material storage silo: 100t in 2 compartments + direct loading
Bitumen supply: 3 tanks, 60m³ each