When Sibelco Australia (formally Unimin) built its roadbase plant at Lilydale more than 12 years ago, the plant was untested. When the plant was commissioned and ran for the first time with material at its capacity, the resulting dust generation was considered extreme.
Looking for ways to improve this, Sibelco brought in Polo Citrus Australia – which specialises in providing environmental solutions to dust emissions and exposure – to propose what could be done without having a significant impact on the cost of material produced.
Polo Citrus uses a foam technology that is generated through its specialised equipment and then applied to the material prior to the crushing or screening process. The foam adheres to the material, and once it is crushed/screened the foam stays with the material and rapidly dries to nothing, so no residue affects the final product (and the final product stays within required specifications).
After an initial consultation with site staff it was agreed Sibelco would install foam generation equipment to the roadbase plant.
Polo Citrus recommended a foam generation unit that would suppress and control the crusher dust extremely well, given the output. The equipment was then built and installed onto the roadbase plant. The initial run was completed without the Polo Citrus system switched on. After only a few minutes, with no dust suppression system switched on, the roadbase plant was barely visible. The Polo Citrus system was then switched on, and the transformation was evident, as the area around the plant became clear and dust-free. The changes were stark; video taken before and after was a testament to the success of this cost-effective dust suppression system.
Following this installation and the success achieved at Sibelco Lilydale, the Polo Citrus team was asked to commission another dust suppression system at the Sibelco Buchan facility. Another foaming system was installed and the results were a duplication of the Lilydale results – a dust-free work environment with no effect on the finished product.
More than 12 years on, the Lilydale site still uses the Polo Citrus foaming system to great effect. The quarry has a dust-free environment for staff and the surrounding community. Sibelco Buchan also still uses the Polo Citrus system with reportedly great effect, and continues to be happy with the results of the system and service from the Polo Citrus team.
Source: Polo Citrus Australia.