Reference Library

Soilworks products are the industry’s top standard due to our insistence on creating high performance soil stabilization and dust control products that stand up to rigorous testing – both in the lab and in the field. Our commitment to quality and performance has led to our involvement and testing in hundreds of real-world situations. The following library of reports, presentations, specifications, approvals and other similar documents provide you, our customer, the transparency and dependable assurance that is expected from Soilworks.

Dust Suppression Alternatives 2016 Update (TPD1606075)

Dust Suppression Alternatives 2016 Update

 June, 2016



One outcome of the February 2009 Regional Mayors Forum in Nunavut was a petition to the territory’s Ministry of Community and Government Services to investigate alternatives to the use of calcium chloride for dust control on municipal roads.

The Ministry contacted ICURR to conduct a preliminary survey of alternative products, paying particular attention to:

  • Costs including weights for shipping
  • Application process
  • Required equipment for application
  • Pros/con for environmental side effects

The Ministry also informed ICURR that Tembind, a lignin-based product, had already been investigated locally and need not be considered in this survey.


To place the options for consideration in context, it is important to consider the key benefits for dust control or suppression:

  • Road maintenance costs can be lowered by reducing loss of aggregates
  • Road safety can be increased by improving visibility and road surface conditions
  • Dust-related health issues for humans can be minimized
  • Negative impacts of dust on wildlife and vegetation can be reduced
  • Damage to vehicles and equipment can be reduced

The decision on which dust control process is to be used must consider several important questions:

  • Is the product environmentally responsible? Does it meet regulatory standards?
  • Is special equipment required to apply the product?
  • Are there safety issues for employees and/or contractors in handling the product?
  • Will there be any need for special storage and warehousing?
  • How effective is the product in achieving the desired outcome?
  • What is the required frequency of application? How durable is the product?
  • Cost?

Before even embarking upon a dust suppression strategy, the road authority should determine if other elements of road performance have been incorporated into the assessment. Road design and construction, including crowns, shoulders and drainage should be examined. Are appropriate surface materials being used? Have reduced speed limits been considered? Is paving an option?

2016 Update

The purpose of the update was to identify whether the companies identified in 2009 were still operational and whether they carried the products that were identified in 2009 or if they had new products that were developed since 2009 for dust suppression. In addition to conducting an update on the previously identified companies and their products a search was conducted into other companies and their dust suppression products which were not considered or may have not existed in 2009.

Although there have been a few distribution company name changes, eights of the nine products examined in 2009, are still available for distribution in 2016. These companies were contacted to obtain an update on their current costs and to determine if there have been any changes in the products that were identified in 2009. In addition three new companies and four products were added to the companies identified in 2009 and updated in 2016.

One company which was contacted for an update refused to provide price updates due to their policy of not providing quotes for non-account holders therefore the 2009 cost estimate was not able to be updated.

Product Descriptions

The categories of products for dust suppression include:

  • Hygroscopics (magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, etc)
  • Lignin derivatives (e.g. Tembec’s Tembind or TDS)
  • Bitumens, tars and resins
  • Vegetable oils (canola, soybean, linseed etc)
  • Synthetic polymer emulsions

Since the chlorides currently in use in Nunavut have been determined to be undesirable, and a lignan product has already been tested, ICURR did not include any products based on these compounds in this survey. Bunker C oil was to be considered but has been omitted from this report due to its negative environmental impacts (Yukon) and the fact that changes to petroleum refining processes have rendered the product scarce and relatively expensive (interview with Frank Hall, OGRA).

In most cases, any dust suppressant will be affected to a certain extent by the conditions in which it is being applied and under which it is expected to perform. The local soil (percentage of sand, glacial till, clay etc), the drainage conditions, the application process and the application rates all play into the product’s performance. Similarly, traffic type and density need to be taken into account. The number of vehicles per day and the type of vehicles (percentage which are automobiles, light-duty trucks, heavy equipment, ATVs etc) will both need to be assessed against product features in order to determine the best choice for the particular situation.

Given that most product testing has been conducted in southern Canada and the United States, product selection for use in far northern locales should probably be preceded by testing under local conditions and on tundra soils. It is important to stress that the manufacturer’s recommended application rates need to be followed to guarantee results.

There are many companies in North America selling dust suppressant products for roads and this report does not attempt to be comprehensive or recommend one product over another. The sampling attempts to provide an array of alternative products representing different product categories and including both Canadian and American suppliers capable of delivering in the volumes required.

Table 1. Selected non-chloride, non-lignan dust suppressants



Product Type

Environmental Impact*

Dust Stop

Cypher Environmental Winnipeg, Manitoba

Polymer Proprietary formula

(modified polysaccharide)

Organic, biodegradable, renewable   resource, non-toxic


Petro Canada Calgary, Alberta

Petroleum-based iso-paraffinic fluid

Non-toxic, “readily biodegradable”


Milligan Biofules

Foam Lake, Saskatchewan

Vegetable Oil (Canola)

Biodegradable, renewable resource


ENS Solutions Ltd Beamsville, Ontario

Tall Pitch Oil (organic liquid pine rosin emulsions – not a lignosulphonate)

Organic, non-toxic, biodegradable (100%)


Hydrograss Technologies North Oxford, Mass

Petroleum Emulsion Synthetic Isoalkane

Biodegradable (60%), non-toxic

EK 35

Hydrograss Technologies North Oxford, Mass

Petroleum Emulsion Synthetic Isoalkane

Biodegradable (60%), non-toxic

Syntech EDC

Syntech Toledo, Ohio

Hygroscopic, agriculturally engineered from renewable resources, contains some chloride)

Biodegradable, non- toxic, non-leaching


Syntech Toledo, Ohio

Modified Bitumen

Biodegradable, non- toxic, non-leaching


Dustkill, Columbus Indiana

Agriculturally derived oil

Bio-degradable, non- toxic


Dustkill, Columbus Indiana

Agriculturally derived oil

Bio-degradable, non- toxic


Envirosafe Chemicals Canada, North Battleford Saskatchewan

Vegetable (Canola Oil)



DirtGlue Enterprises, Amesbury MA

Organic Blend Proprietary formula

Non-hazardous, non- corrosive

*MSDS sheets or equivalent data is available from most suppliers on their web sites

Product Application

Application of dust suppressant products can be either topical or worked into the surface via grading or scarification. Some products are applied as supplied and others require additional handling (e.g. mixing, pumping, heating, compacting etc). Products come in a variety of forms including liquids, emulsions, powders etc. Curing times are often dependent upon climate conditions at the time of application and can also vary significantly from product to product. The durability of dust suppressants depends upon the type of product used, its application, the amount of rainfall, the temperature and the amount of traffic. Some product durability is enhanced with each subsequent application.

Table 2. Application


Product Preparation

Topical/ Mixed

Application Rate


Dust      Stop Liquid Concentrate

Mix with water


1 gal/2m2

Tanker truck with spray bar and agitator or recirculating pump


No dilution


0.5 to 2L/m2

Tanker truck with spray bar


No dilution, liquid



Tanker truck with spray bar


Mix with water


Varies and customizable based on surface type and number of applications

Tanker truck with spray bar, aerial application available from company.


No dilution

Topical and mixed


Tanker truck with spray bar

EK 35

No dilution

Topical and mixed


Tanker truck with spray bar

Syntech EDC

Straight or diluted with water

Topical and mixed


gal/square yard

Tanker truck with spray bar and pump


Dilution, liquid

Topical              and mixed

0.05-0.5                  gallons per square yard

Tanker truck with spray bar and pump


Liquid, no dilution


1 gallon/50 ft2

Tanker truck with spray bar


Liquid mixed with water


Any type of spraying device


Liquid mixed with water



Water truck with circulating pump


Liquid, no dilution


Minimum application 0.02Gal/sq. ft.

Tanker Truck with spray bar

Product Shipping and Cost

Obviously, in shipping these products any great distance, the shipping costs can be the single largest expense. Product pricing in almost all cases will vary depending upon the quantities ordered, and shipping costs will vary based on the weights of the product and the distances to be shipped.

The products are generally available in bags (50 to 55 pounds) or totes if they are in powdered formats and 450 pound drums or 2000 plus pound totes if they are liquid. Bulk shipments are available for most products will result in better pricing for both product and shipping costs.

Most product manufacturers indicate that surface condition is a factor in product efficiency and surface preparation costs will only be known on a case by case basis. This can range from no surface preparation required to extensive grading, scarification and drainage work. Clearly, the more preparation required prior to application will have an impact on cost.

Application rates vary from product to product. Even with the same product, suppliers often specify a range of application rates depending upon road and climate conditions.

Application equipment costs in many cases will be no greater than current costs where typical water trucks with sprayer attachments are used. However, in some cases, products will necessitate the addition of agitators or pumps which will need to be factored in to cost estimates.

The durability of the product is another factor to be considered when evaluating cost. Durability claims vary widely from product to product and those claims will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Some products would need multiple applications per season while others claim to need only one. Most products must be reapplied after reworking the surface for maintenance but at least one claims to continue to be effective after reworking. After the initial application, some products are applied at the same rate for all subsequent applications while others can be applied at significantly reduced rates on subsequent applications (as little as 30% of the 1st application). All of these elements can have a dramatic effect on the cost.

In comparing costs, the relative environmental impacts, while difficult to quantify, should be factored in. Also, when compared to chloride based products, all of the products surveyed for this report do not have the corrosive qualities on machines and equipment normally associated with chlorides.

Finally, product handling and storage is different from product to product. Emulsions require careful handling and cleaning of equipment, some products work best when applied in warm weather and others claim to be easily applied in below freezing weather. This may result in incremental costs or savings for the road authority.

The cost estimates in the table that follows are based on application rates that are either the recommended rate or the highest rate for maximum results and durability. Lower rates might be appropriate in certain cases. The costs are also based on pricing provided for non-bulk orders.

Table 3. Product shipping options and cost


Shipping options

Product Cost*

Dust Stop Liquid

Cypher International Winnipeg, MB

1000 Litre totes and bulk

$4.33/Litre of concentrate (2016) (CND)

Pricing customizable based on surface type and number of applications


Petro Canada Calgary, AB

250 Litre drum or bulk

$3.08/Litre (2009 estimate)

Contacted in 2016, company policy will not

allow for price estimate without account and quote details.


Milligan Bio-Tech Foam Lake, SK

205 Litre drum

1000 litre totes or bulk

$1.25/Litre (2016 estimate) (CND)


ENS Solutions Ltd Beamsville ON

275 Gal tote or bulk tankers

55 gallon drums (new in 2016)

$1.54/Litre of 55% concentrate (CND) (2016 estimate)

EnviroKleen Hydrograss Tech North Oxford, Mass

55 Gal drum (475 lbs)

275 Gal tote (2300 lbs)

$10.50/Gal (2009) (awaiting reply) (3.78L)

EK 35

Hydrograss Tech North Oxford, Mass

55 Gal drum (475 lbs)

275 Gal tote (2300 lbs)

$9.25/Gal (2009) (awaiting reply) (3.78L)


Syntech Toledo, Ohio

55 Gal drum (605 lbs)

275 Gal tote (3025 lbs) Bulk

$2.25/Gal (USD) (bulk – prices based on 4500-5800 gallon loads) (2016 prices)

$893.75/Tote (USD) (275 gallons)

$206.25/drum (USD) (55 gallons)


Toledo, Ohio

55 Gal drum (500 lbs)

275 Gal tote (2310 lbs)

$3.05/Gal (USD) (bulk) (2016)


Columbus, Indiana

275 Gal totes, 55 gallon drums and 5 gallon


$2.75/Gal (USD) (2016)


Columbus Indiana

4900 Gal bulk tankers

18,500 Gal railcar

$1.75/Gal (USD) (2016)


1000 Litre totes

$1.80/ Litre (CDN) (2016)

~ 0.60/Litre (CDN) diluted


Amesburry, MA

275 Gal totes

Bulk Tankers

$8.5/Gal (USD) (2016)

*All costs are exclusive of shipping and application.


Cypher Environmental Ltd

391 Campbell St

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3N 1B6 Darryl Chuback

Tel: 204-489-1214 x 108

Cell: 204-997-4175


Petro Canada

P.O. Box 2844

150 – 6th Avenue S.W. Calgary, Alberta T2P 3E3

1-866-355-3369, 403-296-8000


Milligan BioFuels Inc

Box 130, 907 Highway 16E

Foam Lake, Saskatchewan S0A 1A0 306-272-6284, 1-866-388-6284


ENSSolutions Ltd

Paul Goulet, 416-960-4713 Cell: 416-617-0904

4306 Bartlett Rd.

Beamsville. Ontario. L0R 1B1


Hydrograss Technologies

157 Southbridge Road,

North Oxford, Massacheussetts, 01537

Paul Nigosian, 508-726-7695, 1-800-853-5393



520 East Woodruff, Toledo Ohio 43604

Ted Leslie, 1-800-537-0288


Dustkill LLC.

6921 East 600 North

Columbus, IN 47203 David Streitelmeier David@dustkillinc.com (317) 446-7672

1(877) 350-2645


Envirosafe Chemicals Canada

James Davey

10011 Thatcher Avenue

Po Box 1792

North Battleford, Saskatchewan, (306) 446-0505


DirtGlue Enterprises, LLC

Chris Rider chris@dirtglue.com

83 Middle Street

Amesbury, MA 01913




Dust control for Unpaved Roads, National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure (InfraGuide), October 2005

Dust Palliative Application and Selection Guide, Bolander et al, U.S. Department of Agriculture,1999 http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/pdfs/Dust_Palliative.pdf

Potential Environmental Impacts of Dust Suppressants: Avoiding Another Times Beach, An Expert Panel Summary Las Vegas, Nevada May 30-31, 2002, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2004, Piechota et al. http://www.epa.gov/esd/cmb/pdf/dust.pdf

Testing of Dust Suppressants for Water Quality Impacts, Karen Irwin et al, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008. http://www.epa.gov/region09/air/dust/DustSuppressants-sept2008.pdf

Alaska Rural Dust Control Alternatives, (DRAFT), Sierra Research for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, 2006 http://www.epa.gov/region09/air/dust/DustSuppressants-sept2008.pdf

Dust Suppressants, Environment Yukon, Government of Yukon. Retrieved on March 3, 2009 from http://environmentyukon.gov.yk.ca/monitoringenvironment/EnvironmentActandRegu lations/dustsuppres.php

Telephone interviews with each company contact, February 25 to March 6, 2009. Telephone Interviews with each company contact, June 8th to June 9th, 2016.

Telephone interview with Frank Hall, Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA), March 2, 2009.

Complete the form below to download this document now.