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Alstom's development of an innovative cleaning method in wins highly commended award

23/04/2013

Alstom, working in partnership with Chela Ltd (one of the UK’s leading manufacturer of innovative industrial cleaning chemicals) has developed an award-winning environmentally considerate way of removing diesel and oil from track ballast and concrete.

The solution, BioChela ® Digest, is a biochemical product which quickly converts oil, grease, diesel and other organic matter to water and carbon dioxide. It can be utilised to remove stains embedded in porous concrete, stone, asphalt and soil and well as non-porous surfaces where traditional products often fail to work effectively.

Following trials conducted at Manchester Traincare Centre, which started in June 2011, we are now rolling out this innovative cleaning method across all Alstom Traincare Centres for use anywhere there is contamination caused by diesel, oils, greases, fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

We announced in February that the product was shortlisted as a finalist for an Innovation Award for Environmental Technology at the National Environment and Energy Awards. On 16 April it was announced that the product won a highly commended award.

How does the solution work?

Carefully selected strains of “good” bacteria are combined together with several penetrants and dispersants in a blend that increases the effectiveness of the action of the bacteria. The final product is simply sprayed onto the contaminated ballast and over a few days the hydrocarbon and other organic staining is eliminated. The nature of the action is such that the contaminants are converted to gas and water and, unlike the action of conventional degreaser, will not be carried down into the subsoil.