IPAC / Power Chemicals Ltd

Sulfur Paper


The 5W's


Glenn Weagle PhD , Tibor Horvath MSc

Dust control by chemical suppressants has been used for many years. The simplest and most common dust suppressant is water. Water is usually readily available and inexpensive. However, water is ineffective on substrates that are very hydrophobic like sulphur. Surfactants have been used to modify the water-substrate interface properties to improve the wetting effectiveness on hydrophobic substrates with some success. Keeping a residual effect after the water had evaporated still remains an issue since many of the surfactants are solids when dry. Also many of the highly active wetting agent type surfactants are expensive and can have significant toxicity. This limits their use as a dust suppressant

Recent technological developments have permitted improvements of these aqueous surfactant suppressants. Introduction of charge neutralisation and tackifiers has enhanced the performance of some suppressants. To evaluate and measure the performance of suppressants, ex­perimental methods are required that account for the dust characteristics and interaction with the suppressant. Without careful planned application the dust suppressant performance can be very disappointing and in some cases a complete failure (Fig. 1). Understanding the dust characteristics and interaction with the suppressant is essential. This article will address a number of these issues and concerns and demonstrate that efficient and effective chemical dust suppressant of sulphur dust is achievable and possible...Learn More