The SDS2 Dust Suppressant is a biodegradable wetting agent that 3M has specifically designed for dust suppression and control in longwall coal mining operations.
Before bringing the product to market 3M employed Coal Services Health Monitoring Standards to undertake independent tests. Samples were taken on three different occasions on day and afternoon shifts at an active longwall. Results showed a 21% reduction of respirable dust at the stage loader and 27% at the maingate. Total inhalable dust was reduced by 31% at the stage loader and 20% at the maingate.
The results of the test have been further carried through to operations currently using the suppressant, according to 3M’s Mike Garland.
“We have a major mining company using our SDS2 very successfully on underground roadways. Benefits claimed by the customer are a 40 percent to 50 percent water reduction, less slippage of large trucks, less water trucks on roadways reducing traffic hold-ups and allowing redeployment of water cart drivers to more productive work,” Garland said.
The water-based suppressant has been designed to mix easily at room temperature and holds a long shelf life (five years) without special storage needs.
The typical application rate is 0.1% – meaning a 20-litre pail is added to 20,000 litres of water.
The suppressant can be dosed into the inline water systems at a single point using a standard liquid dosing pump upstream of the longwall stage loader, crusher and shearer. It can also be used as a suppressant for stockpiles and roadways, offering water savings for haul roads above and below ground.
SDS2 has been classified as non-hazardous when diluted and has also been designed to be biodegradable.