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U.S. Navy researchers have developed a safe and cost-effective way of controlling airborne dust and sand, including silica, clay, and carbonates. The patented technology is available via license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Dust abatement issues have been a significant concern for the U.S. military dating as far back as World War II. Landing aircraft in limited visibility is dangerous.
Polyacrylamide (PAM) is used as a soil stabilizer on roads and airfields to reduce the amount of airborne dust and sand particles.
Unfortunately, there are several major problems with the application of PAM. The quantity of water required to apply PAM effectively is a concern in desert environments. PAM is carcinogenic and its application can be labor-intensive.
These issues suggest the need for a safer, environmentally-friendly solution that is cheaper, easier, and faster to apply.
Navy researchers have developed an effective aqueous solution that binds to the sand or dust particles. Once applied, the wetted layer dries to form a wind erosion-resistant surface crust. Heat and windy conditions promote the effectiveness of the product. The solution is comprised of about 65 to 70 wt % of a sugar, 9 to 10 wt % of a water-soluble polysaccharide, 0.9 to 1 wt % of a phosphate, 0.9 to 1 wt % of a surfactant, and the remainder being water.
The solution can be further diluted with water and can be applied using a variety of handheld bottle sprayers, pump sprayers, hydro-seeders, agricultural sprayers, aircraft sprayers, and even fire trucks.
- Safe, biodegradable, environmentally-benign, non-toxic, water-soluble solution
- Simple, one-step application process that can easily be adjusted depending on the specific application
- Saves costs, water, and labor
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 7,682,519 from the Navy
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