Rock Fragmentation with Explosive–Free Soundless Chemical Demolition Agents
Mining – Technology and Innovation
GHG & Air Emissions
Quebec Ministry of Economics and Innovation
Clean Growth Program
Science & Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) Contribution
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Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, McGill University
This project will develop, test and validate an alternative explosive-free method for rock breakage using powdery cements known as soundless chemical demolition agents, or SCDAs, injected in drilled boreholes in the rock. Shortly after the injection, the SCDA expands, exerting pressure on the borehole and causing it to break apart.
The method will be tested in the laboratory and validated at an underground mine site. Once adopted, this new method will result in a reduction of greenhouse gases due to the reduction in ventilation normally associated with the blasting method, which would no longer be required.
It is expected that this method of rock breakage could improve mining and tunneling practices as it does not involve explosive energy. The outcome of the project will be a novel methodology for rock fragmentation in underground environments.
Replacing explosives with alternative demolition agents has the potential to transform the Canadian mining industry through improved productivity and reduced emissions from mining operations.
Additional benefits are improved safety, the potential to translate to different sectors beyond mining, and increased labour force productivity.
Anticipated Environmental Benefits: Improved air quality and reduced GHG emissions as there will be neither blast-induced fumes nor fugitive dust particles released to the atmosphere.
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