Unloading dusty bulk cargoes in environmentally sensitive areas using dockside mobile loaders (DMLs)



Nick Hall, Orthos Projects, Market Harborough, UK


Ports are increasingly concerned about environmental issues and the running costs associated with dust emissions for handling loose bulk solids, at ever-greater throughputs. EPA legislation is playing an ever-increasing part in the design process for handling systems in North American and European ports. Apart from polluting the environment and contravening legislation, dust problems have adverse effects on machinery by causing friction and increased wear.

Cost savings
The control of dust at the source – first by containment and only then by filtration – is the most cost-effective means of controlling dust. E & F Services estimate that by correctly designing containment in the planning stages of bulk handling projects, the filtration area could be reduced by over 22 percent. This results in considerable capital savings on dust plant.

With the implementations of COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations (plus their subsequent amendments), and the advent of the EPA Regulations since the 1990s, Port management are increasingly aware of the design implications of containment on a variety of bulk and unit handling operations in ports.

There is a strong indication of a link between respiratory substances and related illnesses, especially to the substance or dust that caused it (i.e. silica – silicosis). Port managements are beginning to view containment as a necessity to contain and suppress silica dust, because silica dust (or quartz) in a respirable form can be dangerous to health. This is in line with COSHH assessments for occupational exposure standards to quartz.

New technology dock mobile loaders
E & F Services specialise in the handling and abatement of dusty cargoes from crane grabs, material reception systems and all aspects of bulk handling plant. Their dockside mobile loaders (DMLs) gained a technological lead in eliminating spillage and controlling dust.

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