New biopolymer-based solutions for dust control.

New biopolymer-based solutions for dust control

This spring, Kemion launched a new product development project for dust binding products based on biopolymers, in collaboration with Fibenol and RMK. The aim of the project is to further strengthen Kemion’s range of eco-friendly products. Our partner Fibenol is an Estonian manufacturer of biomaterials and like Kemion, is committed to sustainable development.

The product development project continues the effort to find a substitute for traditional road salt for dust control on gravel roads. Dusty gravel roads are a common problem in both Finland and Estonia. Proper road maintenance affects the surface condition of the roads and, consequently, the driving comfort for road users. Successful dust binding and road stabilization can also reduce the occurrence of surface and structural frost heaving during the spring.

The Estonian State Forest Management Center (RMK) is responsible for the maintenance of forest roads. RMK has previously used calcium chloride for dust control on gravel roads. However, the use of calcium chloride is increasingly being restricted in many areas due to its recognized harmful environmental impacts. RMK was interested in finding new solutions to control road dust and biopolymer-based products developed by Kemion in collaboration with raw material manufacturer Fibenol align well with their values and requirements.

Kemion is committed to product development and actively seeks to create innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of customers, also in collaboration with other companies. With extensive practical experience in dust control and ecological alternatives, Kemion was eager to participate in this project. Kemion focuses on developing environmentally friendly products that are completely chloride-free and biodegradable, making them suitable for use in the most sensitive natural areas, such as groundwater areas.

For this project, Kemion developed three different biopolymer-based dust control solutions using Fibenol’s raw materials. Seidi Helanterä, responsible for Kemion’s research and development, commented, “We are excited about this project and look forward to seeing the results regarding the durability and applicability of these new solutions for gravel roads.” Last summer, cellulose-based products developed by Kemion were tested on gravel roads in Finland with promising results.

The first field tests using Kemion’s formulations with Fibenol’s biopolymers were conducted in Estonia in early May. Margus Reimann, head of RMK’s forest improvement department, commented on the project: “We are open to new solutions and look forward to the test results to gain a better understanding of the options available for road maintenance.”

The solutions used in the project are ecological alternatives to traditional chloride-based road salt. The demand for environmentally friendly options is growing. Heikki Takko, Kemion’s export manager, highlights the versatility of biopolymer-based products, noting their suitability for various applications such as mining and industry. In addition to dust control products, the need to replace microplastic-based polymers in various industrial sectors is driven by EU legislation. Kemion has already developed several solutions for industrial processes and is continually launching new research projects.

Over the next few summer months, the parties will monitor the results of the project, aiming to find an effective solution that sustainably utilizes local and natural materials.

Read more about Kemion’s dust control solutions here.