Plumes of smoke are a frequent fixture on spy movies—the smoke used to obscure the view of enemies and make them lose control of their car. Dust plumes on gravel roads can be inadvertently used to much the same effect. Furthermore, the dust billowing off the road can damage the road surface, and for these reasons, if you are charged with dust control for a dirt road, you should think carefully about what chemical you use.
One option for dust abatement is lignin sulfonate, which behaves like a glue. If you simply spray the chemical down on a road surface, it will effectively prevent dust from lifting off of the road surface. In this application, the lignin will do little to prevent damage to the road itself. This means that you still have to worry about the formation of washboards and ruts. If you mix the lignin into the first few inches of the road surface, it will make a top layer with similar hardness as compared to asphalt. While potholes may still form in this surface, they should take longer to form. Thus, you should not have to grade the road as often and dust problems should be a non-factor.
Rather than describing calcium chloride as a glue, it is better to describe it as a sponge. When sprayed onto a road, it will absorb water vapor out of the air, from the surrounding ground, and from precipitation. Just as spraying water onto a road would help to prevent dust from rising, the water thus attracted and retained by the calcium chloride will prevent dust from rising. The same solution that attracts moisture should also bond with particles in the road to help form a dense, solid surface that should resist most road traffic. While calcium chloride won't create a surface as resistant to wear as a surface mixed with lignin would, it will still reduce the number of times you have to grade your road.
Of the two options, you would end up using more lignin sulfonate if you mix it into the first few inches of the road than the calcium chloride, which you spray on the surface. Furthermore, calcium chloride will improve in effectiveness as you add new layers after grading the road surface. For these reasons, calcium chloride is a cost effective alternative to lignin sulfonate as long as you don't have to prepare the road for heavy machinery in which case the durability of lignin sulfonate will make it the right choice. Contact a business, such as the GMCO Corporation, for more information.