Case Study: Coal handler uses atomized mist dust suppression

dust suppression for coal barge loading conveyor

“We try to run the most efficient and environmentally compliant operation possible. DustBoss is an essential part of that.”

Coal from the Powder River Basin (PRB) is known for it’s dusty quality. Hendricks River Logistics (HRL) deals specifically in PRB coal.

The high-volume coal transshipping company servicing the Powder River Basin (PRB) is using atomized mist to control dust at its conveyor discharge points.

Located on the Mississippi River, just north of Keokuk, Iowa (USA) — 970 miles from Gillette, Wyoming — Hendricks River Logistics (HRL) exclusively serves two utilities along the Mississippi River.

Trains as long as 123 cars, loaded with sub-bituminous coal, take the 5.5-day round trip to HRL’s site. The train enters a 3-mile spur track off of the main BNSF line.

Each car is unloaded using a rotary dumper, a large cylindrical framework with its own track, which braces onto the car with hydraulic clamps, then turns the car and track nearly 160°, emptying the contents into a large hopper.

barge loading conveyor dust suppressionThe rotary dumping sequence takes about two to three minutes per car. The coal is loaded onto conveyor belts leading to the stockpile.

“We generally do about 1.6 to 1.7 million tons of production per year,” Duer said. “PRB coal is inherently dusty, so we knew from the beginning that we needed some form of dust control.”

Effective dust management has been cited by company officials as an important component of the facility’s environmental stewardship and regulatory compliance.

After successful deployment of a DustBoss® Ring (DB-R) on its barge-loading conveyor, HRL has added another unit to its larger conveyor, which feeds the stockpile area, significantly reducing the amount of fugitive dust in the entire work site.

Duer’s team researched trade magazines for their options and spoke to several sources before deciding on a DustBoss. “We initially purchased the DB-R for our 48-inch wide barge loading conveyor belt, and it did such an excellent job that we decided to get another one for our other main discharge point,” Duer said.

The main discharge point is high enough for air currents to carry dust a long distance. It does twice the volume of the barge loader, but since it’s located on a hill, it creates greater potential for migration.

coal barge loading conveyor with dust suppression ring

The main discharge belt leads 1,000 feet (304 M) uphill from the rotary dumper. The belt is 60 inches wide with a material volume of as much as 3,000 TPH (2,721.5 MTPH), feeding into the 14-acre stockpile that is managed by bulldozer.

The large 72-inch DB-R is a stainless steel circular manifold with 38 misting nozzles mounted on the conveyor 3 feet under the discharge point, pumping 23.94 GPM (90.62 LPM) of atomized water.

The DB-R creates a circular curtain of 50-200 micron sized droplets, which travel with the dust, absorb the particles and pull them to the ground with little or no pooling or runoff.

Pressure is adjustable to match the fluctuations in volume of fugitive dust dispensed from the belt. The size of the mist droplets does not change regardless of the pressure.


Hendricks River Logistics

Keokuk, IA (USA)

A high-volume coal transshipping company on the Mississippi River, serving the Powder River Basin.

Manage dust from conveyor off-loading operations to improve air quality and protect site equipment from the effects of abrasive coal dust.

Two DustBoss®  Rings (DB-R)

After purchasing one DB-R for the 48-inch barge loading conveyor, results were so positive that HRL decided to install a second ring at the main discharge point, a 60-inch conveyor feeding a 14-acre stockpile.

is owned by philanthropist and business leader Diane Hendricks. Since the acquisition in 2007, HRL has increased production and streamlined the transport process with the help of long-time general manager Shawn Duer. The terminal occupies 250 acres on the Mississippi River, just north of Keokuk, Iowa, and operates 10 months out of the year, specializing in low cost river transshipment with rapid loading and unloading.


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