Systematic Evaluation of Chemical Reaction Hazards

Effective thermal hazard evaluation requires an integrated approach to assessment of chemical reactivity. A variety of theoretical and experimental methods can be used to determine the thermal stability of specific compounds or reactive systems. Notwithstanding this, recurrent problems occur with materials and/or reactions which are known to be inherently unstable. Correct application of physical tests and interpretation of output data is essential for effective thermal hazard evaluation.

This paper provides an integrated approach for the systematic evaluation of thermal hazards and effective scale-up of data for emergency relief system design.

Thermal Hazards Assessment

In order to develop an effective approach, we need to consider the essential elements which comprise thermal hazard evaluation for pressure relief design purposes. This includes:

  1. Screening Checks
  2. Data Interpretation
  3. Physical Testing

Screening Checks

Before initiating any thermal stability testing program, it is prudent to carry out preliminary screening checks. Complex or unfamiliar materials may exhibit detonation or deflagration properties. In such cases, specialized testing is required. For simple or familiar materials, much information can be confidently predicted by theoretical means, thus reducing the need for time consuming and costly testing. Optimization of experimental parameters for subsequent physical tests can increase cost effectiveness of testing programs.

Typical screening checks might include the following three elements, structural analysis, specialized testing (detonability, etc.) and thermochemical evaluation.

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