04/05/2022 | Industrial Water Treatment | 8 MINUTE READ

Chemical Blending in Industrial Applications

Many industrial processes can only be completed by performing several smaller processes to obtain the desired results. A common chemical process that occurs in industrial settings is chemical blending, which differs from chemical mixing. Mixing chemicals occurs when you combine two or more dissimilar substances to create a homogeneous product. It’s possible, however, for mixed chemicals to be separated into the original substances.

Chemical blending is a process that involves combining several ingredients into a product that has a different set of properties. Blended products are usually meant to remain blended forever. Let’s say that you make a salad with basic ingredients like lettuce, croutons, and chicken. These ingredients would be mixed together and could be separated if necessary. To blend ingredients, you could place some raw fruits and vegetables into a blender to create a liquid with a completely different consistency. This process results in a blended product.

There are a wide range of industrial applications that depend on chemical blending. Some of the products that can be created with chemical blending include fertilizers, paints, cosmetics and soaps, and powdered detergents. Regardless of the industrial application that blending is being used for, this process must be precise to ensure that the final product meets the exact specifications that the industrial facility has. The following goes into more detail about chemical blending and how it’s used in industrial applications.

What is Chemical Blending?

Chemical blending is an industrial process that involves blending together two or more chemicals to create a completely different chemical. When ingredients are combined through the blending process, this combination is a permanent one, which means that the ingredients cannot be separated once they’ve been blended.

As mentioned previously, there are a wide range of different industrial applications that require chemical blending. For instance, chemical blending occurs whenever paints, fertilizers, and cosmetics are produced. In more general terms, blending is commonly used to improve the overall quality of a product before the product is distributed.

Blending is an option for industrial facilities when substances need to be fused or particle materials need to be evenly coated. The industrial facility may view blending as a necessary process to obtain specific characteristics for the end product. These characteristics could be anything from making sure that a texture is smooth to fully adjusting the consistency of a substance.

When industrial facilities perform chemical blending, it’s essential that the chemicals are blended in accordance with precise measurements. The smallest error in the process will result in a completely inaccurate product. The result of not blending chemicals together correctly depends on what the end product is supposed to be.

It’s possible for poorly blended chemicals to become too flammable, too liquid, or too dense. These issues are costly and time-consuming. If you need to redo the entire chemical blending process, this only serves to waste your time and money. Since blended chemicals can’t be separated once the blending process occurs, it’s important that you get it right the first time.

Types of Chemical Blends

There are many chemical blends that can be created through the blending process. While some of these blends aren’t meant to be widely distributed, many industrial facilities perform the blending process when producing or manufacturing products that will eventually be released to the market. The various types of chemical blends that are produced in industrial settings include:

  • Fertilizers
  • Cosmetics and soaps, which include perfumes and moisturizers
  • Cleaning chemicals, which include everything from hand soaps and dish soaps to germicidals and detergents
  • Auto washes and coolants
  • Cold emulsifying

There are plenty of reasons why chemicals are blended together. For one, it’s possible to create entirely new compounds or chemicals through the combination of at least two base materials. In a situation where a product can’t be commercially manufactured, the blending process could create the intended product without issue.

As touched upon previously, many industrial facilities will use the chemical blending process to improve the overall quality of certain materials and substances. A facility may also use the chemical blending process to include very specific properties in the blending formulation, which would ensure that the end product is successful when applied.

Another reason that industrial facilities use chemical blending is to combine inorganic and organic chemicals together. The pH of elements and viscosity of substances may also be adjusted with chemical blending. Because of the wide range of applications that chemical blending can be used for, the majority of industrial facilities will perform this process at one time or another.

Examples of Chemical Blending in Industrial Applications

To better understand the benefits of chemical blending and why it has been widely adopted in most industrial facilities, there are several examples that might prove useful. One example involves water and wastewater treatment. There are many different chemicals that can be used to treat water. When water gets sent to a wastewater treatment facility, the water must be filtered and purified before it can be reused or sent into the environment.

Depending on the types of contaminants that are present in the water, certain chemicals could be added to the water to eliminate the contaminants. These chemicals include everything from chlorine to muriatic acid. If there are several types of contaminants that need to be eradicated, it may be beneficial to blend two or more chemicals together to produce a more potent chemical that could deliver better water treatment results.

Another example of chemical blending involves a process that can be done at home. Let’s say that you want to create some timber wax that you can later apply to some pieces of furniture you own. In this situation, you could blend together olive oil, beeswax, lemon essential oil, and white vinegar to create the finished product.

If you purchase these ingredients separately and mix them together, a chemical reaction won’t take place, which is necessary for products to be properly blended together. Industrial facilities use this process on a larger scale.

Women manufacturing chemicals in lab

Chemical Blending vs. Manufacturing Chemicals

Chemicals can either be blended together or manufactured. The main difference between these two processes is that a chemical reaction doesn’t occur when chemicals are blended. There are many types of cosmetic and commercial products that are made from blending. If ever you mix two chemicals together in a manner that creates a chemical reaction, this would be defined as manufacturing. Examples of blending chemicals include:

  • Mixing inks or pigments together
  • Mixing moisturizers or essential oils to create a cosmetic
  • Mixing different soaps using a melt-and-pour method

Along with the aforementioned applications, the food industry regularly uses blending to turn raw ingredients into various foods that people want to eat.

When looking specifically at chemical manufacturing, this process occurs when mixing two or more chemicals results in any kind of chemical reaction. In this situation, more industrial chemicals would be produced from the manufacturing process, which doesn’t occur with chemical blending. A few examples of the chemical manufacturing process include:

  • Creating different essential oils using solvent extraction or steam distillation
  • Creating acrylic polymers via polymerization
  • Making soap with the saponification process, which involves using sodium hydroxide

When saponification or a similar chemical process occurs, the chemicals wouldn’t be blended together. Instead, the chemicals would effectively change, which would result in producing a completely different product.

electrodeless conductivity measurement package

Tools & Technology Used in Industrial Chemical Blending

Industrial chemical blending can only be done when the people who perform the process do so based on precise instructions. If too much of one chemical is blended into another, the end result could be entirely different than what was intended. Different blenders are better for different types of ingredients. For instance, not every blender is able to blend together dry ingredients. The types of blenders that can be used with chemical blending include:

  • Hydraulic blender
  • Ribbon blender
  • Cone blender
  • Tumble blender
  • Paddle blender
  • Vertical blender

You may also be tasked with using sensors and other forms of technology to make sure that the product you’ve created with chemical blending is accurate. It’s possible to adjust the pH of elements with chemical blending. To do so, however, you will likely need to use a pH sensor. The results you obtain from this sensor will range from 0-14. If the reading you obtain from the sensor is lower than 7.0, the element will be acidic. Readings above 7.0 are alkaline in nature.

When adjusting the pH of an element, make sure that you use the sensor to identify the element’s pH before and after the adjustments are made. You may also want to use a conductivity sensor to determine if the end product matches the exact consistency and quality that you’re looking for.

Conclusion

Chemical blending is regarded as a key process in many industrial applications. Whether paints are being manufactured or soaps are being made, different chemicals and substances must be blended together to create the intended product. While it’s possible for chemicals to be mixed or manufactured, there are some products that can only be made with chemical blending. Before you perform the blending process, make sure that you have the right tools on hand.

Posted by Sensorex on April 5, 2022

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