Method for Tailings Dust Suppression

Case ID:
UA21-248
Invention:

This technology is a new type of treatment that can be sprayed on mine tailings piles to suppress tailing dust from blowing off the pile, thereby preventing erosion and environmental contamination.

Background:
Tailings are the waste byproduct of ore mining, and consist of fine particles, many the size of dust particles. They are typically placed in large piles or pools for storage and, where possible, eventually reused or reclaimed. However, when tailings sit in a dry, untreated state, many of the smallest particles can be blown away by the wind. This presents an environmental danger, such as the potential for heavy metal dust to contaminate water sources.

To prevent tailing dust erosion, people spray a fluid over the surface of the pile that provides a protective, erosion-resistant barrier against the wind. Existing solutions are made of expensive synthetic materials. This technology, on the other hand, is made of inexpensive organic matter and will benignly break down on its own once the tailing pile is removed.

Applications:

  • Mining tailings management
  • Dust control


Advantages:

  • Inexpensive
  • Long shelf life
  • Environmentally safe
  • Biodegradable
  • Preserves tailings for future reclamation
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Brett Mortenson
Licensing Manager, College of Engineering
The University of Arizona
BrettM@tla.arizona.edu
Lead Inventor(s):
Dominic Gervasio
Minkyu Kim
Abraham Jalbout
Keywords: