Dust suppression in open-pit quarries

Dust suppression in open-pit quarries

Workers safety, environmental protection and the protection of nearby towns and villages are the main reasons for open-pit quarry owners to carry out what is known as dust suppression over large areas.

 In open-pit quarries it is common for dust to be created during loading and unloading of goods, processing, crushing or transport. In addition, there are other typical quarry problems such as wind and drought and it is clear that dust suppression is necessary to enable the work to be carried out at its best.

Dust suppression in open-pit quarries: why it is necessary

The situation described so far has a further degree of complexity in the vast areas usually covered by quarries. If dust arising from the handling or fragmentation of materials is difficult to manage in small, confined areas, it is of course even more so in very large areas. In these cases it is therefore necessary to choose an equipment which has great flexibility of use and which can adapt to different situations, such as the impossibility of using water on conveyor belts or a water dosage which varies according to the different operating areas of the quarry. The solutions for dust suppression must therefore be very versatile and must alternate fixed and mobile systems in order to reach all points of the large area.

The best solution for dust suppression in open-pit quarries

In order to have a correct suppression of dust created in cement, lime, marble, porphyry or asphalt production plants, the best solution is represented by fog cannons. These are highly technological and innovative systems that have a main advantage in the combination of low water pressure – in fact they are activated with a pressure of just 10 bar - and a channeled air flow capable of generating a high concentration of nebulized droplets. This allows the fog cannon to operate in a wide range of conditions, suppressing even the smallest dust particles in very large areas. Another important advantage is energy efficiency: water consumption will remain extremely low compared to the surface being treated.

Dust suppression system: Price

In light of what has been said so far, it is also appropriate to evaluate the economic implications of using fog cannons for dust suppression. These, due to their high degree of technological complexity, require in an initial phase an investment that is undoubtedly greater than the methods of the past, but they guarantee over time a clear reduction of expenses from an energy point of view. Before the intervention it is also advisable that the area concerned is subjected to inspection by technical experts in order to identify the strategic points where the fog cannons will be placed. Usually these are positioned in places where the materials are in free fall and therefore in the points of loading and unloading and in the yards.

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