What is dust suppression?
Dust suppression Refers to the technique of artificial application of liquids to restrict, prevent and control the number of fine particles that are disseminated due to the air and winds. Generally, the simplest form of dust suppression is done with water as it is easily available and cost effective. It does not have drastic side effects in most cases. Water spraying nozzles are strategically placed across the area in order to spray fine mist across the surface. This helps in capturing the airborne dust particles and brings them to the ground. Some dust suppressant techniques can be applied directly to the source of dust creation which prevents the dust from becoming airborne in the first place itself.
Need for dust suppression:
Dust is among the most common factors that can lead to health issues in the long run for workers that are exposed to high volumes of the same. This is commonly faced in the construction, mining and demolition industries that can cause accidents, damages and disruptions to the human workforce, property and animals in and around said area. There are 2 main categories of dust namely, organic dust and inorganic dust. Organic dust is commonly found in homes, indoor areas like offices and buildings as well as public indoor areas that can be exposed to pollen, skin, insects etc. organic dust is much less harsh than inorganic dust but can still cause fatal ailments such as histoplasmosis and query fever. Inorganic dust is commonly found in construction sites, mining fields, industrial areas etc. Constant exposure to it can lead long term pulmonary diseases that may or may not be curable.
Dust suppression using water:
The most common mode of dust suppression is water, apart from the other liquids that are commonly added to water in order to capture and attract the dust particles and prevent fly away dust. While using water with or without any added substances there are numerous different ways of dust suppression that can be applied. These modes can range from a manual tractor that dissipates water across the area to a fully automated air atomizing system that can be turned on or off electronically and remotely.
Modes of manual automation require the constant input of a person and are highly labor intensive. However, the automated dust suppression systems can be turned on and left to complete the process by itself. The size of particles also varies in the two systems as the automated system enables very tiny droplets of water to be formed easily. This not only increases the number of water droplets but also reduces the surface tension as compared to manual modes. Hence, when water droplets collide with the dust particles, the two merge and increase the net weight and fall to the ground rather than bouncing off from each other. Manual modes of dust suppression also require abundant and often excessive quantities of water especially in the hotter months. This shortcoming can be easily tackled by an automated water dust suppression system.