EMI SOLVES La Pedicara quarry dust problem

Published 23/11 at 16:02

The Cava La Pedicara quarry in Balvano is one of the largest in southern Italy, being located in the heart of the Lucanian Dolomites.

Dolomite is the main rock extracted, which is used to manufacture glass. In the Cava La Pedicara quarry this raw material is first extracted, ground and sifted, and is then sold in different quality grades. This process does mean that quarry workers are however exposed daily to the large amounts of dust that are produced. Furthermore wind borne dust clouds also travel to the neighbouring town, with the dry Mediterranean climate making the situation even worse.

In order to rectify the situation, La Pedicara quarry manager Vincenzo Santagata contacted EmiControls in the summer of 2014, and explained that he wished to improve the working conditions of his workers, and protect the environment around Balvano (the nearby town). The biggest challenge to be faced was related to the enormous size of the area (approximately 3.5 hectares), as well as finding a solution that would not hinder the work of the quarry.

EmiControls technicians analysed the morphology on site, and every single point where dust was generated in the quarry. On the basis of this analysis, a customised solution was developed consisting of a combined system of mobile turbines, stationary spray heads and water mist curtains. is specifically consists of two stationary V12 turbines, mounted on 6m high towers, one mobile V7 turbine on an undercarriage, and other high pressure spray heads. The latter are permanently installed in the area, along with two high pressure pumps.

During their investigation of the dust problem, EmiControls discovered that the main source of dust is located near the quarry’s conveyor belts. Thanks to the raised position of the installed V12 turbines (about 1.5m above the conveyor belts), the size of the surface area where the dust is bound to the water particles can be expanded. Additionally, the mobile V7 turbine is equipped with an undercarriage meaning that it can be moved easily if necessary, whilst the stationary spray heads provide targeted atomisation, and have been installed where the dust can be trapped more effectively by the drops of water.

The results of the installation have proved to be highly satisfactory, with dust emissions having been reduced significantly. EmiControls turbines and spray heads atomise water into a very fine mist that effectively binds the dust particles. Thanks to the tiny size of the droplets, the water mist remains suspended in the air much longer and has more time to bind with the dust, further resulting in water consumption being reduced.

Due to the success of the installation, a new system is now being installed at La Pedicara quarry. is consists of a truck, fitted with a turbine, which is will be used to criss-cross the quarry, distributing an additional water curtain.

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