Using Ice Melt for Dust Abatement on Roads and Construction Sites

Dust Abatement at Construction Sites

Ice melt products such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are not just useful during winter. You will also be able to use them during spring, summer, and fall for dust abatement on roads and construction sites. As ice melt suppliers, we often see how a lot of municipalities use these products for dust control in government construction projects all summer long. However, the dust control applications are not just limited to government projects. Commercial property owners and developers also use ice melt products for dust abatement. While keeping that in mind, let’s deep dive and explore how we can use calcium chloride and magnesium chloride for dust supression and dirt control.

Using Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride as Dust Suppressants

Dust abatement strategies on unpaved roads and construction sites may vary from water to palliative compounds such as magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, and brine solutions. While asphalt and lignin emulsions, and plant oils or natural clays, may be used to manage dust, chloride solutions are the most common alternative in most areas.

On construction sites, pits, gravel, and quarries, water is often utilized as a temporary dust suppressor. Although water moisture aids in the binding of particles to gravel and the prevention of dust, it must be sprayed on a regular basis to maintain proper moisture levels. This translates to significant labor and equipment expenses, especially in dry climates where water evaporates fast.

Magnesium chloride and calcium chloride are the two most often utilized dust suppressant choices for the best dust abatement. Both are hygroscopic or moisture-attracting compounds that pull moisture in the air to give sustained dust suppression. As a snow contractor, you can also use them in the market as ice melts as well. In fact, many snow contractors have added dust control services for their customers to stay busy all summer long. The equipment and materials are the same, so it’s a no-brainer to add this service. It’s common for customers to need professional dust abatement services during summer, fall, and autumn to keep dust low. This practice is quite popular among government agencies and many other commercial contractors.

Using Calcium Chloride as a Dust Control Suppressant

Calcium chloride is a type of a salt that has hygroscopic properties. It absorbs moisture in the air to produce a solution on road gravel, keeping road surfaces wet even in hot, dry weather. Moisture aids in the binding of particles, resulting in firm and compact roadways. Calcium chloride adds to overall existing road stability since it penetrates multiple inches into the road foundation. It lowers the freezing point of moisture inside the roadways in the winter, reducing frost heave damage as well. It’s a kind of win-win application, especially when compared to just using water for dust control.

Using Magnesium Chloride as a Dust Control Suppressant

Magnesium chloride is another hygroscopic salt. It’s most typically available in liquid form, with a 30 percent concentration. The water attraction qualities of liquid calcium chloride and liquid magnesium chloride are comparable. Calcium chloride stays liquid in hot, dry circumstances, but Magnesium chloride does not, resulting in weaker dust suppression capabilities in these settings. The two materials have relatively comparable application rates & environmental properties.

How Effective are Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride for Dust Control?

Road authorities often examine magnesium chloride and calcium chloride as dust suppression materials. While magnesium chloride and calcium chloride are both identical materials, the quantity of active components in commercially available dust control solutions may make a big difference in how effective and cost-effective they are.

The dust control efficacy of both calcium chloride and magnesium chloride is dependent on their capacity to keep roadway surfaces moist. Magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, when applied to a gravel road, reduce dust by drawing moisture from the air and forming a solution that dulls the road.

When Calcium chloride and Magnesium chloride are added to a gravel road surface, the volume of the solution fluctuates as the road seeks equilibrium with the water content of the air. When the percent humidity is high, the volume of the solution expands. When the weather is dry, the reverse happens. In hot, dry weather, calcium chloride stays liquid, prolonging dust control in situations when magnesium chloride freezes and offers little to no dust protection.

The Benefit of Using Calcium Chloride-Based Dust Abatement Products

Although the chemical actions of Calcium chloride and Magnesium chloride are similar, the performance of products might vary greatly. Commercial calcium chloride dust suppressants come in greater concentrations than magnesium chloride made dust suppressants, thus a team using the same quantity of either may treat more roads with Calcium chloride than Magnesium chloride. Alternatively, less calcium chloride will be needed to manage dust on the same length of road than instead of magnesium chloride. In comparisons between liquid and dry goods, the tables below show the concentration benefit of calcium chloride.

Are Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride Safe for the Environment?

When you are about to use Calcium chloride and Magnesium chloride dust suppressants, you would wonder whether they are safe for the environment as well. Numerous studies have been conducted in the past to determine the safety of using Calcium chloride and Magnesium chloride as dust suppressant products. These studies have shown that using these chemicals in the right quantities would not create any major impact on the environment.

According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, it was confirmed that proper handling of Calcium chloride and Magnesium chloride and sticking to the right products will help people with minimizing the environmental impact that they create. Even though these products increase the amount of chloride in soil, it happens in minimal quantities. As a result, there is no need to worry too much about the threat that they pose to vegetation or underground water.

Final words

Now you are aware of the importance of using Calcium chloride and Magnesium chloride as dust suppressants, especially when compared to using water for dust abatement. While keeping these facts in mind, you may think about spending your money to purchase appropriate products available in the market so you can add a new service for your snow removal customers. This will not only increase your business, but it will help you to minimize dust on roads and construction sites, along with the hazards created by them. Always stick to a reputed store when you purchase so that you can end up with getting authentic products. Contact SISCU today with questions or to get a quote.