"Hair spray" minimizes coal dust

Added On January 6, 2019

An innovative dust suppressant has effectively reduced coal dust pollution along a major railway in northern China.
Let's take a look.
Daqin Railway is a major railway for coal transport in northern China.
The 653 kilometer coal transport railway was launched on December 28, 1988. It links Shanxi province's coal rich Datong city with the port city of Qinhuangdao in Hebei Province.
Heavy-haul trains use the railway to carry about 1.3 million tonnes of coal out of Shanxi each day. Over the past thirty years, it helped transport around 6.27 billion tonnes of coal.
Coal dust along the route used to be a major source of pollution. But now, thanks to a special kind of dust suppressant, fondly known as “hair spray”, things have changed a lot.
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): LI CHUNFU, Tashan Dust Control Station of Daqin Railway
"We use water to dilute the dust suppressant and then spray it on the coal. The spray then turns into a solid gel that spreads over the cars like a cloth cover. The coal is all sealed inside and so is the dust. It works pretty much like hair spray."
74 dust control stations have been established by the railway. It says it uses around 400,000 tonnes of the “hair spray” every year. 
Today, clouds of coal dust are no longer an environmental nuisance that plagues the train line.