Differential Scanning Calorimetry — Scope and Limitations of Its Use as a Tool for Estimating the Reaction Dynamics of Potentially Hazardous Chemical Reactions
In addition to the use as a screening instrument for the appraisal of thermal hazards of chemical reactions, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) can give information also on reaction dynamics. This can be achieved, for example, by selecting samples at strategic process stages, and by comparing their DSC-curves, the heat produced during the selected time increment can be monitored. Thus it is possible to get an idea of the heat production rate due to the desired as well as to the follow-up reactions under given conditions. Furthermore, the dynamics of a reaction can be inspected by the use of DSC in the isothermal mode. For estimating the thermal hazard of the reactivity of chemical compounds, information on reaction dynamics is especially important when materials are involved which decompose only after an induction time at a given temperature. The isothermal technique is also valuable for detecting consecutive reactions and catalytic effects since it is more sensitive than the scanning technique in this respect. The merits and limitations of DSC in this context will be discussed.
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