Differential Scanning Calorimetry — A Powerful Screening Method for the Estimation of the Hazards Inherent in Industrial Chemical Reactions
The systematic assessment of risks inherent in chemical reactions is essential for the safe design and operation of chemical plant processes. It is advantageous to determine the basic thermal data for the estimation of the two components of risk — probability and severity of an undesired event — in a stepwise procedure.
In the first step, the screening phase, scanning microthermo-analytical methods like DSC and quantitative DTA have proved to be powerful tools. Provided the necessary pressure tight sample vessels are available, these methods of investigation represent in most cases a quick and cheap way to get primary information like heat of reaction and decomposition as well as their respective temperature ranges, specific heat and information on the kinetic behaviour of the chemical system under investigation.
Selected case studies illustrate the use of these data in combination with a priori knowledge such as the chemistry and the physical properties of the reaction mixture, either to estimate the risk inherent in a given chemical process or as a guide to the design of further experiments.
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