• Mac McCreless

The AlkapHix® Showdown: Dry Powder vs Slurry Suspension

Garrison Minerals' AlkapHix® Industrial Grade Magnesium Hydroxide is offered and shipped in two consistencies: powder and slurry. We often get asked, “Which is better?” Well, actually they are both the same but the freight costs will vary significantly based on what is ordered. So, let's take a minute and discuss those two consistencies and when one might select one over the other.

 

While the solid form, AlkapHix® Mg(OH)2 Powder, is the more common shipping selection for a variety of industrial applications, AlkapHix® Mg(OH)2 Slurry, the liquid suspension form, is a popular choice for wastewater treatment as a safe alternative to caustic soda or hydrated lime.


That said, many of our wastewater treatment plants choose to order dry powder as a means of saving freight cost and mix onsite. I know, confusing... right?


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A number of considerations should be carefully weighed in selecting your AlkapHix® product for industrial/technical magnesium hydroxide.

When to Order AlkapHix® Powder


1. Long Distances/High Volume

For bulk shipments, AlkapHix® powder is often preferred, allowing for nearly double the content of magnesium hydroxide at the same volume as shown below.


In short, the added weight of water in a slurry mixture increases freight costs when shipped cross-country or internationally. Plain and simple. That said, if the application specification calls for slurry, mixing equipment can be provided. Why would you want to pay to ship water?

AlkapHix Freight Comparison between bulk pneumatic, dry van with bulk bags, and liquid tanker with slurry.

330gal Tote Mixer used for small wastewater treatment application
330gal Tote Mixer

2. Low Volume

Regardless of distance, AlkapHix® powder can be aptly mixed in a drum or tote mixer with the added benefit of controlled settling for small-batch shipping and receiving.


3. Electrical Power Constraints On-Site

Powdered magnesium hydroxide does not require constant agitation as compared to the liquid slurry, reducing the need for high-energy machinery upon arrival.


4. Concentration Variety

In industrial applications where a myriad of magnesium hydroxide concentration ratios are needed, dry powder is the preferred format due to superior accuracy and greater ease of material segregation due to slurry’s tendency to settle over time. Garrison Minerals even provides an AlkapHix Blending Calculator for ease.


AlkapHix Bulk Bags
AlkapHix Bulk Bags

5. Flexible Shipping Methods

In general, powdered Mg(OH)2 can be shipped via more versatile and flexible transport options, including:

  • Bulk pneumatic

  • Bulk bags

  • Standard 50lb bags

  • Flat-bed hauling

  • Reefer truck or van

  • LTL or partial load

  • Container/ocean freight

  • Rail


When to Order AlkapHix® Slurry


1. Immediacy

AlkapHix® slurry is ready to use, eliminating any time delay between arrival and application.


2. Limited Equipment

If the receiving facility does not have the industrial equipment necessary to mix Mg(OH)2 dry powder with the appropriate amount of water to create slurry, professionally pre-mixed slurry is an ideal alternative.


Don't forget, we can help with equipment too!


3. Reduced Manpower

Industrial locations vary in their staffing. Ready-made slurry is optimal for sites with fewer employees or reduced manpower.


4. Established Infrastructure

Example of an Agitated Slurry System
Example of an Agitated Slurry System

AlkapHix® slurry requires constant agitation. Facilities should have correct, operational in-house equipment to prevent settling. If needed, Garrison Minerals has the expertise and manufacturing capabilities to assist with appropriate storage equipment, storage recommendations, dosing equipment, and dosing recommendations to optimize the product and application specifications.


5. Short Distances/Lower Volume

With the added volume and weight, AlkapHix® slurry shipments are recommended for receiving organizations within a 250-mile radius to a distribution site. This typically amounts to one-day freight trip.


Even the smallest wastewater treatment plant needs pH adjustment and added alkalinity derived from magnesium hydroxide, and whether shipping a small volume to a rural plant or to a large plant in a densely populated urban area, logistics should be considered.


6. Shipping Options

Liquid slurry is most often shipped by:

  • Tanker

  • Tote

  • Drum

 

Optimizing Freight Costs


All AlkapHix® magnesium hydroxide products are application-dependent. Despite shipping conditions, powder or slurry form may be necessary for specific end-product. For example, flame retardants typically require dry powder. Alternatively, as noted above, wastewater applications often necessitate slurry.


Garrison Minerals will work with you and your team to determine the best material and most efficient shipping method for your circumstances.

Contact us today for expert recommendations and a detailed freight estimate.


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