Dust poses a huge threat to people, the environment and machinery on industrial sites such as harbours, mines and the like. Dust-A-Side (DAS), a South African-based company has inroads into dust control at the Richard’s Bay Harbour on South Africa’s north coast through the application of dust suppressing chemicals. DAS was contracted to assist in combating dust during loading processes into docked ships.
Dust is liberated on harbour sites through vehicles travelling on roadways and during different loading processes. DAS has had great success with dust control of iron ore, coal, platinum, gold, diamond, copper, zinc and nickel mines in sub-Saharan Africa and has channelled more than 20 years’ research solutions and development into creating safer and more efficient mining practices. The lessons learnt on mines can now be successfully applied to harbours and other heavy industrial areas.
This ISO 14001 compliant company (certified by the South African Bureau of Standards) implements a total dust control management system that consists of a range of dust binding products and comprehensive construction and continuous maintenance programme. DAS uses a variety of product that is environmentally friendly. These heavy-duty bonding agents do not bleach or wash out once curing has taken place.
The problem associated with dust is wide ranging. When disturbed, dust creates poor visibility, loss of production due to machinery downtime and irreversible respiratory disease. Dust control now features in environmental health and safety legislation throughout the world.
At Richards’s Bay Harbour, DAS applied one of its products, HydroFoam to the conveyor system at various stages. The application of foam resulted in a remarkable improvement in the docking time of ships. Another spin-off wasreduced penalties.
HydroFoam is an environmentally friendly, safe product that can be used to combat dust areas where excessive water is a potential problem, such as harbours. DAS HydroFoam was developed to combat and prevent dust by expanding water for application, where excessive water can lead to other problems.
The product creates micro-bubbles that are applied to areas, including crushers, augers, transfer points, belts, drill sites, stackout, areas and reclaim areas amongst others. It expands water up to 1,000 times and creates surface tension that allows for a micron-thin product/water film to keep particles wet for longer. HydroFoam is highly economical and requires less than two litres of water per ton treated.
Dustbind was another DAS product used at the Richard’s Bay Harbour. Many different problems are caused by dust blowing freely across land surfaces. Small, dry surface mineral dust and soil are easily moved by wind at speeds of less than 60 km/h. Turbulence from passing trucks or cars can also create tiny air particle movement, resulting in environmental problems. Dustbind can help control wind-initiated erosion.