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Australian dust-buster’s African debut

First publishedin Aggregates Business International
March April 2015
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88Chemco Dust Suppressor
By using Hydrogel water usage can be reduced by as much as 60% says 88Chemco

Australian fine particle engineering company 88Chemco has launched its dust suppressant in southern Africa, specifically designed for quarry haul roads.

Hydrogel is sprayed directly onto haul road surfaces, where the product enhances water’s ability to wet and bind fine particles by up to eight times more than plain water.

“Our best result was a client south of Johannesburg, South Africa, who reported that watering of haul roads was reduced to once every 17 hours from the normal two to three-hour intervals,” says Sebastian Karsas, owner and CEO of 88Chemco.

By adding Hydrogel (a series of polymers and surfactants specifically formulated for quarrying applications) to the water cart, water’s dust suppression characteristics are significantly enhanced. Savings in cart usage can be up to 50%, while water usage can be reduced by as much as 60%, the company claims.

Hydrogel is dosed ad-hoc or within a schedule of 0.06 litres per m²/month, although Karsas says every site can use the product as deemed fit and to a level that suits own budget.

Better road surfaces also further impact on tyre life, wear and tear, as well as production rates, which can all be quantified for each quarry.

The company opened its South African operations in July 2014, and has already made strides into the South African, as well as other southern African markets.
“We are making significant inroads into Zambia, Namibia and Botswana, where we have assigned agents and opened companies,” says Karsas, adding that the company is in discussion with a South African partner to further its distribution footprint.

“We see the rest of Africa as an excellent market to provide our services. Water and cost of operation are often more expensive elsewhere than at South African operations due to proximity to major facilitation points, which is always a logistical challenge,” says Karsas.

“We have a strong and positive outlook for the African market. We believe that cost savings – such as lower fuel consumption while offering environmental benefits of, for example, reduced dust and operational maintenance – are top priorities for every quarry.”

Karsas says the technology appeals as it is a low-cost dust suppressant that fits into quarry systems and processes without intrusive effects or requiring changes of management programmes.

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