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Minimising environmental impact while improving health and safety

Industrial operations are making a measurable contribution to environmental sustainability and the health and safety of nearby communities, through the adoption of the innovative RDC 20 dust suppression solution developed by I-CAT Environmental Solutions.

RDC 20 is a water soluble anionic polyelectrolyte polymer comprised of an exclusive formulation of blended emulsified co-polymers and ionic modifiers. RDC 20 is produced from natural substances and features no petrochemical or hydrocarbon ingredients, making it 100 percent eco-friendly.

When sprayed onto a gravel road surface, I-CAT non-executive director professor Jan du Plessis explains that the solution forms a durable cross linked matrix that binds fine soil particles into larger heavier particles, which are less prone to become airborne. “RDC 20 is used on temporary roads, as it is a cost efficient means to improve road and dust conditions exponentially.”

I-CAT has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from mines where the product is applied, and especially where I-CAT is contracted to manage the dust control on mine roads. “The overall ambient dust at our largest operation in the Northern Cape has improved by more than 40 percent, when compared the readings prior to I-CAT managing the secondary roads at the mine,” adds du Plessis.

The overwhelmingly positive effects that RDC 20 has had on the environment and communities has been proven by an in-depth study carried out at a large iron ore mine in the Northern Cape, where  I-CAT has been contracted to manage dust emissions on haulage roads since 2011.

The high volumes of heavy duty and standard commercial vehicle traffic on dirt roads generates excessive dust, which severely reduces visibility. The implementation of RDC 20 has minimised this potentially catastrophic hazard. This has ensured the long term health and safety of more than 5 000 permanent full-time employees and over 3 000 full-time contractors working onsite.

The nearby town of Kathu has a population of over 10 000 people, and RDC 20 has significantly reduced the threat of illnesses caused by dust pollution. RDC 20 has also minimised the use of scarce water as a dust suppression solution, making it more readily available to the surrounding ecosystem.

The proof is in the numbers

As part of the study, a haulage road was divided into equal sections to be treated with water only and with RDC 20 for comparative purposes. The results indicated in the table below reveal that the use of RDC 20 as a replacement dust suppressant solution for water resulted in an almost twofold improvement in every variable, including; dust fallout, fuel usage, water usage and carbon footprint.

Description Outcome (RDC 20 compared to water only)
Application frequency (total number of suppression applications for the study period) 50 percent reduction


Water usage 50.2 percent reduction


Dust fall (mg/m2/day) 53.8 percent reduction


Dust monitor readings (mg/m3) 47.3 percent reduction


Vehicle running cost (actual cost to treat each section for the duration of the study)


50 percent reduction
Fuel usage 53.6 percent reduction


Carbon footprint (kg CO2e) 53.6 percent reduction


The tabulated data above has been verified by independent analysts, mine representatives and I-CAT personnel. “The proven success of RDC 20 is evidence that I-CAT is committed to long-term sustainability of the environment by developing a solution that creates measurable and synergetic benefits for ecosystems, communities and businesses alike,” du Plessis concludes.

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