Chemical Reaction Hazard Testing
Understanding chemical reactions is critical to safe manufacturing. Often these exothermic reactions are inherent in the desired process chemistry; however, these can also occur in unintended or side reactions. It is necessary for the safe scale up and operation of a chemical process to identify, assess, and characterize the materials and hazardous scenarios. Our preventive methodology is designed to be a cost-effective mechanism for assessing all processes with both extensive testing labs and experienced people.
Rigorous Chemical Reaction Testing
Beginning with a technical review, our process safety specialists evaluate existing and new/changing processes, then conduct laboratory reaction studies. We assess the safety and environmental implications of the process and proposed changes and then we make practical and economical recommendations that are fit to your needs for improving your processes.
Our specialist capabilities include screening evaluation, adiabatic Dewar calorimetry, reaction calorimetry using a Mettler RC1, Accelerating Rate Calorimetry (ARC), Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC), Calvet Differential Scanning Calorimeter (Calvet DSC), Vent Sizing Package 2 (VSP2™), Carius tube with end gas analysis, GC- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and other specialized tests.
Background on Selected Methodologies
Screening Evaluation: The CHETAH program (The ASTM program for Chemical Thermodynamic and Energy Release Evaluation) predicts both thermochemical properties and certain “reactive chemical hazards”. CHETAH is useful for classifying materials decomposition energies, estimating heats of reaction, and for predicting lower flammable limits.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC): DSC is a method for thermal analysis using very small samples, and is especially useful for highly energetic or unknown processes. In addition, the duration of an experiment in the scanning mode is only several hours, making the DSC technique a very rapid and powerful method for screening purposes quantitatively.
Accelerating Rate Calorimeter (ARC): The ARC is used to determine the time, temperature, and pressure relationships of any exothermal reaction in a confined adiabatic environment. This data can be applied to the evaluation of thermal and pressure hazard potentials and used for specifying plant protection measures including emergency relief system designs using DIERS technology.
Reaction Calorimetry (Mettler RC1): The RC1 balances heat and mass flows to provide reaction data such as energy of reaction, specific heats, adiabatic temperature rises and heat transfer coefficients. RC1 data can be used for process development and optimization by studying the relationships of changing process parameters, including temperature, dosing, stirring, concentration and catalyst.
Calvet Differential Scanning Calorimeter (Calvet DSC): This tool provides similar runaway onset detection as the ARC while also having the ability to simulate process conditions like the RC1, using a smaller sample. Calvet DSC offers low temperature scanning capabilities and low heat flow detection.
Vent Sizing Package 2 (VSP2™): The Vent Sizing Package generates data for vent sizing calculations on high pressure and temperature runaway exothermic reactions and decomposition. The data can be used for specifying plant protection measures including emergency relief system designs using DIERS technology.
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-Mass Spec, GC-MS): This special equipment generates information on the products and byproducts that are released during the reactions. When taken with the reaction data, it provides a complete view of the hazards associated with the reaction.