Compact blending systems are stand-alone units that serve multiple functions, such as blending winter liquids, or loading and unloading truck liquid systems. The pictured system above (external view is below) costs $12,000 versus multipump systems requiring buildings and extensive plumbing systems, which can exceed $30,000. To get started, consult an organization that specializes in onsite blending training and development. Staff can be trained to blend winter liquids in as little as half a day. Photos: Harvey Williams
McHenry County, located in northern Illinois, sees its share of snow and ice. In 2005, the county DOT teamed with Concept to Project Management LLC to develop a liquid blending system that blends up to four chemicals, produces brine, and dispenses any one product individually. The result is the custom blending manifold system pictured above.
Here's how it works: When blending, chemicals flow to a manifold of valves. They are monitored by a flow meter and controlled by valves as they are pumped to a tank. For instance, 100 gallons/minute of salt brine flows to the tank, which is clearly indicated on the flow meter. A valve is opened and 10 gallons/minute (or 10%) of Geo-melt anti-/de-icer is pumped in at the same time. Five gallons/minute or (5%) of calcium chloride is added. The result is a super mix of 85% salt brine, 10% Geo-melt, and 5% calcium chloride. Operators can adjust the percentage of each chemical in the mixture as desired, and the system agitates the mix every few days.
The blended mix provides a single product with the benefits and characteristics of all three liquids that outperforms the individual products.
Photo: Harvey Williams