An innovative stevedore and bulk distribution centre in Veracruz has developed a customized dust management system, with on-board generator, water tanker and high-efficiency atomized misting unit.

Pulled by a conventional semi-truck, the fully-mobile system delivers excellent particle suppression. One driver can quickly relocate the unit to allow for shifting winds and changing jobsites, saving valuable manpower and time.

Servicios Especiales Portuarios SA (SEPSA) handles more than 1Mt/y of bulk cargo, including shredded and structural scrap, pig iron, hot briquette iron, petcoke and fertilizer. Dust suppression is an integral part of the company’s environmental stewardship, and the firm has been using a DustBoss® DB-60 since early 2011 to effectively control ground level dust and airborne particles.

During that time, employees found the port’s geographic location presented some unique challenges to effective dust suppression. With its sudden shifts in wind and weather, crews were forced to relocate the DustBoss frequently to allow for drift over the company’s 5-hectare property.

The dust suppression rig was designed by SEPSA’s in-house maintenance team, with collaboration from Dust Control Technology (Peoria, IL). Starting with a used tanker truck that was originally built to haul cement, SEPSA engineers obtained detailed information on the DustBoss unit from DCT, including dimensions, weight, flow rates and generator recommendations.

Armed with the necessary input, the SEPSA crew obtained a diesel-driven generator and mounted it on top of the tanker at one end, placing the suppression unit at the other end. The unit was supplied by DCT with a special corrosion-resistant paint on all exposed parts to protect metal surfaces from the corrosive effects of the salty air and high humidity. All piping and electrical connections were completed by the SEPSA team. Finally, they installed catwalks and safety railings around both the generator and the DustBoss, and fabricated a ladder that is welded down one side of the tanker to access the top level.

Delivering a range of more than 200 feet (~60 meters) under calm conditions, a DB-60 equipped with full oscillation can cover more than 125000 square feet of area (approx. 2.8 acres or 1.1 hectares) with a fine, dust-trapping mist. Throw angle elevation is adjustable from 0º to 50º.

Spray pattern and droplet size can be adjusted to suit the specific type of dust being addressed. To maximize ground-level suppression, SEPSA’s machine also has an optional metering pump built in that allows precise application of a water / cellulose mixture to coal stockpiles, which forms a thin crust and eliminates dust migration during periods of high winds.