Suncor Energy is reportedly using a by-product of the pulp and paper industry as a “glue of sorts” to control dust on access roads to its MacKay River oilsands site. A story by the Canadian Press, published in the Calgary Herald on Feb. 3, relates how GE contributed the dust control product that is working much better than the traditional technique of spraying water on dusty roads.
According to the Herald story, Suncor tested out the technology in 2012. It “uses a byproduct of pulp and paper manufacturing to make the dirt stay put.”
The organic and biodegradable compound was used throughout the entire site in 2013 and maintenance co-ordinator Gwen Morgen says staff on site are pleased with the results.
“They love it. It makes the roads so much smoother," she said.
CP reports that, in the past, Suncor would send an average of five water trucks a day along its roads to keep the dust down. Now, only one truck is needed.
The result has been an 85% reduction in water use for this purpose, saving 136 million litres of water annually. It's also cut diesel use by 70,000 litres.
GE has a business unit dedicated to dust control at industrial sites, including mines and power plants.