Settle down, now: Red River College helps develop an environmentally friendly dust suppressant

There are millions of kilometers of unpaved roads around the world, and the dust kicked up by the vehicles that drive on them is a major contributor to air pollution and levels of dust particles that can cause health and environmental issues. In one effort to combat that, Winnipeg-based Cypher Environmental Ltd. collaborated with faculty and students at Red River College to develop a dust suppressant.

The result was Dust Stop Municipal Blend, a non-corrosive and environmentally friendly alternative to road salts, such as magnesium chloride and calcium chloride. It also offers superior dust control. Municipal Blend incorporates sugars, which compete for water, making it less available to bind with soil molecules while providing some structural support and added road stability. Using the blend allows municipalities and other clients to reduce their overall environmental footprint while controlling dust.

Several students were engaged in the project, acquiring research skills while working alongside faculty and Cypher Environmental researchers.

“In terms of the innovation that we are doing, Cypher has a really great link with Red River College,” said the company’s president, Todd Burns. “We sort of have a deal on a handshake… It’s been phenomenal in terms of our ability to utilize resources that we don’t have in our small facility… It’s a great way to build on our capacity to do research and innovation and grow the business.”

Cypher commercialized Dust Stop immediately, opening a new production line and creating jobs in research, manufacturing and product application — including one filled by a Red River graduate who had worked on the project while at the college.

Industry: Environmental
Funded by: NSERC

About Red River College Polytechnic

Red River College (RRC) is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning. The institution is renowned for providing accessible, innovative, applied learning and research in an... Learn more