Observations from the Worksite: The Rise of DGCool™, the Industry’s First Cold Climate Polymer Solution

Conversation with D&T Landscaping & Irrigation President Dave Olson

D&T Landscaping & Irrigation have been serving their community in Minnesota since 1980.  That’s 40 years of service with a continued value proposition to improve and foster top tiered solutions for all their customers’ unique needs.

One such customer/vertical they’ve long served exists in the mining industry. A reoccurring challenge D&T has been faced with is in utilizing a dust suppressant solution that keeps potential environmentally harmful fugitive dust particles onsite rather than floating around in the air. The challenge is further heightened by the fact that the different experiences Minnesota is faced with from naturally occurring seasonal shifts had compromised past remedial attempts. D&T utilized an assortment of polymer based products as a potential solution (as opposed to their typical mode of attack – hay) from several different companies over the years. Finally, three years ago they came in to contact with Global Environmental Solutions who have worked closely with D&T owner/president, Dave Olson, to create an exact solution to their working problem(s). This relationship led to GES developing their latest product offering, DGCool™.

Keep reading to learn more about the challenge, the approach, the solution, and the overall experience with GES and DGCool™:

How’d you learn about Global Environmental Solutions and their DirtGlue® line of products?

Dave Olson: Well, what we do is we provide dust suppression services for the steel and tackamine mines over here in Minnesota. We’ve historically used hay to suppress the dust permeating from the mines. The Challenge with that is these conditions. These tailings basins that we work in are wet. Getting a piece of equipment down there is extremely challenging so we started exploring using polymers as a potential way to hold the dust down until we could get other equipment out there to cover it up.

We tried probably six different products to accomplish this from five different companies and GES or DirtGlue® was the only company that was willing to reformulate their product to best serve our unique conditions. Up to that point we had no products, no polymer based products that were holding the dust down on our tailings basin.

DGCool™ came out of that effort to kind of redesign the product to hold in colder temperatures. When we’re transitioning from fall into winter and then again from winter to spring, we go through a frost / freeze process where the tailings freeze generally at night, warm up, moisture draws out and then we’re kind of okay for the day. But once it starts to freeze, it’s a really fine product, the moisture evaporates and any wind that picks up from below wipes it out. That’s an issue because in these mines, the dust is considered fugitive dust, which is not ideal. Obviously, our goal is to keep that dust in place.

How long have you been working with GES?

Olson: We had tried a bunch of polymers from a number of companies because by-and-large the marketing shtick is everyone claims to have the solution you/we need. When we solicited the help of GES three years ago we started by using two of their products, DirtGlue® and DustLess®. A lot of polymers act similarly, but there are certain elements to each that are proprietary, which is why we tried two different products and the products of other vendors. We wanted to see what would work best for our challenges.

Two years ago we tried a large 100-acre deployment of GES’s DirtGlue® product and it did not withstand the frost / freeze process. It would freeze and peel off and didn’t solve the problem. So I went back to Chris (Rider) and explained what was happening – what we were hoping for – and that’s when he started reformulating the recipe based off of tailings samples we sent at his request. This was the beginning of what would become their DGCool™ solution.

How did GES work with you to outfit you with the best possible solution for your unique challenge? What can you say about the working relationship between all involved?

Olson: What I like about Chris and GES is he’s continually taking a proactive approach and even still asks for tailings samples so the company can work to improve upon what we’ve put to action. They don’t simply rest on what they’ve delivered and move on – they stay actively engaged and strive to maintain advanced improvement.

They were the only company that came back and asked how it went. “How did it go? What were your application rates?” Of all the other companies, they’re the only one that called back. We’re not in this for a one-time sale, we’re looking to solve a problem, so that gets me enthused about the working relationship…

You worked with GES to help facilitate a working test example of the effectiveness of their new DGCool™ product. Tell us about the application. What can you say about the product? How did it help you accomplish what you were looking to achieve?

Olson: It held until we got snow, which is good. Once we get snow there is no dust problem until spring (for obvious reasons). So we’ll know exactly what we’re dealing with when the snow melts and water starts to runoff as it does in spring. If the product is still there, we’ve done it.

We have the product at two sites, a 100-acre site and a 5-acre one. They both held until we got the snow on the ground, which is encouraging. It’s definitely much better than what it was. Prior to this year we tried a different deployment method which was application via helicopter. The first year we used a bucket with large spray nozzles. The helicopter company came up with a different solution – it wasn’t a spray nozzle but more of a rotating spin, gravity feed out, which was a much better solution. So the combination of the product and the delivery method is how we’ve gotten to where we are this year.

Would you recommend GES and their products to people in your industry?

Olson: Yes and no (laughs). Yes because they offer exemplary service and work with the customer to tweak their product to match exactly what the customer needs. This can’t be understated. I jokingly say “no” because in our case I feel like we’re on the cusp of a pretty proprietary solution and application set that separates what we’re doing in the market. But I think as far as what we know as of right now, absolutely I would. GES has been a real pleasure to work with, and the relationship continues to develop as we both look to improve upon what we’ve accomplished thus far, which is exciting for all parties involved.

Between Rose and Chris I can’t say enough good things about the GES team. I’ve felt like from the start they’ve been engaged with me to help me solve a problem. Since the inception we’ve been working closely to help solve the challenge at hand and we’ve collectively kept peeling the onion. For instance, when we started we had a problem with our pump system at the application stage. Come to find out, the polymer heats up to a pretty high temperature and the seals of the deployment pump would fail. I called Chris to ask him what he thought was happening and he was like, ‘if you’re not immediately trying to pump that through the pump prior to it heating up, yeah, it’s going to wreck the seals.’ So we solved the problem by finding a high-temperature chemical seal, which he was engaged with at the outset. I can’t even begin to tell you how many emails he sent me with resources full of information to look into when it came to finding an appropriate seal.

As we’ve gone through evaluating the product, they’ve been there. They want to help us find the perfect solution. I have no doubt that if we come out of spring and the product has deteriorated or is non-existent, Chris is going to be right there and spend more time trying to figure out where we go to move forward and solve it. That’s the kind of guy he is…

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Are you faced with a terrain based challenge you’re not sure how to best tackle? Contact the friendly folks here at GES. We’ll hear you out, and lead you down the best path to successful resolution. We’re with you every step of the way…

GES: For the Earth, with the Earth in Mind.

Taking Safety Seriously – Our Response to the Global Pandemic

To our loyal customers, family, and friends,

We are deeply concerned about the impact of the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and communities from COVID-19. 
 
In response, Global Environmental Solutions is closely following the mandates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with local public health officials. This includes suspending all non-essential business travel for our employees, accommodating working remotely, and conducting virtual meetings.

GES corporate office is working from home to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our commitment to take all necessary measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our employees and customers safe and our business running. Comprehensive cleaning and hygiene practices are in place to ensure employees are safe in our production and warehouse facilities in order to continue supplying product to our customers.

During this time you can expect the same quality products and high level of service and tech support from GES. We do not have any plans to create business interruptions or change in supply at this time.
 
Our thoughts remain with you and your families during this unprecedented time.  What is most important now is that you stay safe and healthy. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re looking to get in touch with us. We are available to answer any questions you might have, and, as mentioned, are more than happy to set up a virtual meeting if one is desired.

Contact Us For More Information

Gas and Oil Exploration

Gas and Oil Exploration

An industry that never rests in this great country of ours is the oil and gas exploration industry – which, in short, is the unearthing of fossil fuels which generate the energy needed to fuel myriad applications in everyone’s daily routines.

That said, there’s a lot of moving pieces and parts when it comes to this type of “exploration” and the ensuing extraction of these resources. Many such oil and gas exploration sites are abundant in challenging terrain and environmental variables that could pose distraction and ecosystem maladies if not tackled appropriately. That’s where Global Environmental Solutions comes in. Our suite of products has been confidently utilized for decades, offering the appropriate solutions needed to make sure the potential environmental issues created by the work being done onsite at oil and gas exploration facilities stays onsite.

Environmental issues to consider and act upon that come in to play when we start looking at oil and gas exportation sites:

  • Air quality
  • Land sustainably
  • Fresh water
  • Soil being disturbed at sites
  • Use of toxic chemicals
  • Hazardous wastes
  • Solid wastes and sewage
  • Radioactive wastes
  • Dust and/or sediment from stockpiles at sites
  • Dust from traffic at sites or access roads

There are numerous ways that any of the above can be compromised due to the nature of the work being done:

  • Surveying
  • Blasting
  • Drilling
  • Extraction
  • Associated incoming and outgoing site traffic

So how do we proactively combat these situations and make certain that the sites of oil and gas exploration remain safe for human and environmental life?

Let’s dive into some of the varied uses companies contract GES products for.

Oil & Gas Exploration companies have utilized us for::

To round it up, the Oil and Gas Exploration industry, is subject to myriad that adversely affect the environment if not treated appropriately and proactively combatted correctly. We at GES have been involved in many customized site treatment solutions over the years. If you need help or have questions, we have the answers and the products to keep your worksite safe, your workers safe, and the surrounding ecosystem safe – from the terrain, air, and water (seen and unseen). Let’s work through it together to fuel collaborative success.

GES: For the earth with the earth in mind.

A Veteran Owned Company

A Veteran Owned Company

You’ve likely heard the term “veteran owned business.” It’s not new, nor is it news. Veteran owned businesses are all around us. Statistics show that 1 of every 14 employer businesses throughout the United States is a veteran owed entity. That’s a decent percentage.

What are the benefits of working with a veteran owned business? Well, they’re vast, but in short, veteran owned businesses, by-and-large are trustworthy, customer service driven organizations. Sown from the seeds of hard work, determination, strong whit, and a desire to be better in the industry or market that the company serves, as well as an overarching goal of serving towards the betterment of the country as a whole.

The military has a strong track record of teaching transferable skills to its members which serve them well while they’re under military contract as well as their time navigating life as a civilian business owner once they’re no longer under the guise of active duty. Skills such as:

  • Critical thinking
  • Multitasking
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Motivation
  • Problem solving tactics
  • And more…

The reason we bring all this up is our founder, Chris Rider, is a US Military Veteran who took charge and started his own business (two in fact!) after his duty to our country came to a close.

A few questions for Mr. Rider:

What’s your military experience? 

I spent one year in the reserve and three years on active duty in the United States Navy – Submarine Service.

What did you learn from your collective enlistment?

There is not much that is more complicated/sophisticated and highly engineered than a submarine. It needs to be this way to function safely. 

What led you to start your own business after you “retired” from the military? 

I’ve always worked for myself.  After the Navy I realized that I didn’t want a boss, I wanted to be my own boss. I saw and experienced strong military leadership while enlisted and took the skills that military leaders showed me and used it in my civilian life.  Initially I was in the automotive business – Porsche repair, importation and sales and then moved on to where we are today with Global Environmental Solutions (GES). (Read more about the Porsche topic here: https://globalenvironmentalsolutions.com/traditional-environmental-techniques-antique-auto/)

Global Environmental Solutions was founded in 2001 (originally as DirtGlue Enterprises, LLC), and, as you may already know, is heavily entrenched in the science of high-technology soil stabilization. We take great pride in developing and providing green soil stabilization solutions to a host of industries for both wind and water erosion control. One of these industries that has served as a lynchpin and serious case study for our company is, in fact, the military. We’re proud to serve the men and women that serve our country so selflessly.

For many, the immediate thought when you think about the military is deserts. Our DirtGlue® and Dustless® soil stabilizer solutions were formulated specifically to keep dust down as our military trains and actively engages with soil that will otherwise wind up in the air if untreated (think about the dust a helicopter throws around as it approaches a landing pad in an area like the desert). As you can imagine, and as this one case suggests, terrain is a vast challenge for our armed services. They spend a lot of time in the desert and get back and forth using a myriad of operative vehicles such as large wheeled cargo units on the ground, and helicopters in the air. In short, a lot of dust is displaced – or can be displaced if untreated.

Let’s not get too far away from the point here… We’re not just another soil stabilization and dust control company. We’re a veteran owned company that started with the vision of providing the best possible eco-friendly products to get the job done right the first time, from inception to completion, and in a timely, cost-efficient, and ecologically compliant manner.

Highly focused on research, development, leadership, and customer service, our goal has always been to provide the best possible results in an industry where ‘good’ just isn’t good enough. We strive for technical and ecological superiority; every product, every project, all the time. Tried, true, and focused on the task at hand – loyal to our customers’ needs while serving the country in a safe, and ecologically friendly manner.

GES: For the earth, with the earth in mind.

 

 

 

 

Creating Safer Mining Environments

Creating Safer Mining Environments

According to the CDC (as of 2017), there are 13,080 active mines throughout the United States. Of those, 541 are registered underground mining operations and 12,539 are registered surface mining operations. This number does not include mines that are sitting dormant.

That’s a lot of mines, and a lot of active mining operations with countless moving pieces and parts that include machinery and human assets. Thirty-nine billion tons of material are extract from the planets crust each year. That is a vast quantity earth that is in play and actively being strewn about in more ways than one. With that poses potential hazardous issues to:

  • People
  • Equipment
  • Environment (from the soil to the air and everything in between)

So the obvious first question is, what are we doing to combat potential hazards as a byproduct of this mining activity? It’s not a common question, but it is if you’re in that line of work. And, quite frankly, the answer isn’t easy. It’s not always easy to know how things will “pan out,” so planning and preparing needs to come from a commodity that things on multiple levels. Enter Global Environmental Solutions…

The long and short of it is this: Not every mine problem can be solved with GES products but tailings dam stabilization, erosion control, stockpile capping, dust and sediment control, and coal bunker sealing can go a long way towards preventing problems.

Why is a proactive approach to “stabilizing” your mining operations inherent to a project’s success? Well, consider the incident that happened in Brazil earlier in the year.

The headline:

“Brazil dam collapse leaves at least seven dead and 200 missing”

The meat of the story:

“A dam that held back mining waste collapsed in Brazil, inundating a nearby community in reddish-brown sludge, killing at least seven people and leaving scores of others missing.

Parts of the city of Brumadinho were evacuated, and firefighters rescued people by helicopter and ground vehicles.

Considered the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history, it left 250,000 people without drinking water and killed thousands of fish. An estimated 60 million cubic meters of waste flooded rivers and eventually flowed into the Atlantic Ocean.

Environmental groups and activists said the latest spill underscored a lack of regulation.”

Another sad fact is that, for Vale (the mining company responsible for the mess), this wasn’t the first time. Following the catastrophe, Vale was saddled with billions of dollars in fines and other associated expenses. All of which could have been largely avoided.

How can we help?

Let’s outline the main (aforementioned) points here…

Tailings dam stabilization – Tailings are the leftover byproducts stemming from mining and extracting resources, such as removing the bitumen from oilsands, or minerals such as copper, silver or gold from ores. Tailings include:

  • Finely ground rock particles, which range in proportions from sand-sized to silt-sized particles.
  • The harmful chemicals that are actively used to extract the valuable mineral or oil.
  • And, quite simply, water.

The underlying issue with this “residue” of sorts is that the rock particles and other potentially intrusive chemicals may undergo post-process chemical reactions during storage that can generate additional byproducts – which, to a large degree, are harmful to the environment – such as acid and other dissolved metals that can easily leach into waterways and destroy fragile ecosystems in the surrounding area (which, in bad cases, can spread further). These reactions happen unusually quickly in tailings because small particles have a very high surface area where reactions can take place, compared to bigger particles.

As we’ve alluded to, many substances found in tailings can be toxic.

Applications are including but not limited to:

  • Surface stabilization with spray applications of polymer
  • Revegetation using CompoMulch and DirtGlue polymer tackifier
  • Geotextile retaining walls
  • Hard surface applications
  • Dust control for pond surfaces once they dry out
  • And much more…

Erosion control

Soil erosion and embankment control is a problem for mining operations when trying to shore up the landscape surrounding the blast site, and the site in general that is subject to runoff from a storm, general rain, or seasonal change. Soil and embankment erosion control challenges are either met at the outset of a site plan, or they’re tackled as issues pops up organically.

Common solutions you’re likely to find at a mining site include:

  • Terraces / walls built of varying materials
  • Geosynthetics such as mats, grids, and cells
  • Pipeline / tunneling
  • Gravel

If you’re looking for a smarter, harder working solution, consider GES products such as our tried and true DirtGlue® polymer, which will penetrate the surface by binding with the soil to form a tough, durable, three-dimensional matrix layer of protection. Combining superior film strength and adhesive properties, DirtGlue® polymer is the ideal solution for dust control in non-traffic areas, stockpile capping and stabilizing slopes and embankments. When applied using DirtGlue® polymer as the tackifier, it will hold even in the toughest conditions, protecting against heavy rain and wind.

Stockpile capping

Uncovered stockpiles that take residence in and around mining sites can create a host of concerns. Without the proper protection, or “capping” they become subject to erosion by wind and water and can contribute to the pollution of surrounding areas as sediment laden run-off spills into roads, waterways, storm drains, or potentially even protected wetlands or other sensitive, protected areas.

Rather than taking the traditional means of capping stockpiles with a tarp, consider DirtGlue® polymer emulsion.

Benefits of DirtGlue® polymer emulsion include:

  • Fast installation/application with less fuss than having to fasten down tarps
  • Much lower cost
  • More effective, complete & seamless seal
  • Not damaged by weather
  • Longer lasting stockpile protection
  • More effective control of dust, sediment and TSS
  • Environmentally friendly solution
    • Meets National Pollution Discharge Elimination System requirements for
      erosion control
    • Meets the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements for reducing
      particulate matter in the air
    • Classed non-hazardous by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration definition

Our unique formula will penetrate, saturate, and bond soil particles, creating a hard, dust-free, and water-resistant crust for lasting protection. DirtGlue® polymer is non-hazardous, water-based, contains no VOCs, and is non-corrosive, providing a solution to capping stockpiles that is highly effective and environmentally friendly.

Dust and sediment control

It’s no secret that dust and sediment run rampant in mining facilities. It’s “the nature of the beast,” to put it bluntly.

At the core of the issue, the idea is to keep the earth in place and not give it too much of a chance to whip around and wind up stuck in filters, lungs, and as a pesky top sheet to everything in its general radius. Outside of that, there are other materials that can be picked up and distributed through these wisps of dust that can compromise the wellbeing of the environment and health of life that is exposed to it.

Dust from a mining site can contain materials such as:

  • Heavy metals
  • Silica
  • Asbestos
  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Pollen

Common means of tackling dust include:

  • Watering the area
  • Using dust retardant products
  • Spreading gravel, hay, mulch, or grass to act as a barrier
  • Restricting movement in affected area

The best option would be to employ the benefits of one of our award winning DirtGlue® solutions to combat the issue and, for all intents and purposes, remediate the problem long-term. For extreme cases like a working mining operation, we’ve got our DustLess® solution that will take complete control.

DustLess® is an organic fluid typically used in high-traffic areas as a solution for extreme dust. It is an environmentally safe dust suppressant that eliminates the need to water, and does not dry out. Clear and odorless, DustLess® is highly refined, and proven to be non-toxic to humans, animals, marine life and plants.

Coal bunker sealing

DirtGlue polymer stockpile capping and sealing is the antidote to the oxidation and moisture that leads to spontaneous combustion in coal bunkers. Keeping coal bunkers sealed mandates an effective, reliable air-blocking system. Sealing coal bunkers is, of course, more necessity than choice. Air circulating through the coal bunkers is a precursor to spontaneous combustion, a serious danger to a power plant, its employees, and the value of the stored coal itself. The spraying of DirtGlue polymer on stockpiles or bunkers causes the formation of a thin crust much like a spray-on tarp to act as a seal against water and air. This protective seal helps prevent fire, dust, erosion and loss of BTU’s.

Benefits:

  • Eliminate air and water penetration
  • Control dust through encapsulation
  • Minimize oxidation to prevent spontaneous combustion
  • Prevent costly coal bunker fires
  • Slow coal deterioration and water absorption that can reduce BTU value
  • Get the desired results without the higher cost of nitrogen injections

Further, when it comes to the transport of mined coal we can help with transportation efforts of the resource, as statistics show that a typical 3-5% loss of coal is experienced during transport from the mine. This can be avoided by “capping” the train or truck hopper hauling the load with one of our environmentally friendly spray-on solutions.

Are you in the mining industry and looking for ways to maximize safety, minimize environmental impact, all while simultaneously increasing profits on an extracted haul? Contact us today and let’s work together to come up with the customized solution to best fit your unique situation.