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Facts at your Fingertips: Batch versus Continuous Blending

By Chemical Engineering |

Blending is a fundamental chemical unit operation, and there are a handful of common ways to implement it. Blending applications can be either manual or automated, and can be carried out either as a batch or continuous process. There are advantages and drawbacks to each blending approach, and the information provided in this one-page reference can offer direction in selecting from among them. Table 1 outlines the key pros and cons for the different types of blending systems.   Batch blending Manual batch blending is the most flexible option and has the lowest capital cost. It is possible to make a wide array of mixtures and conduct a large number of reactions in the same tank using this approach. The main downsides are that manual batch blending is relatively slow and labor-intensive. Additionally, because operators weigh the raw materials, human error and variability are factors. To speed up the process and mitigate the risk of human error, automating a blending system is an option. Automating a batch blending system involves higher capital costs, due to the added instrumentation, automated valves, programming and required bulk storage (Figure 1). Advantages include significantly reduced cycle times and manpower requirements,…
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