Continuous Safety Improvements to Avoid Runaway Reactions - METTLER TOLEDO
On Demand Webinar

Continuous Safety Improvements to Avoid Runaway Reactions

On Demand Webinar

Estimating and Addressing Reaction Criticality for Safe, High-Quality Processes

Continuous Safety Improvements to Avoid Runaway Reactions
Continuous Safety Improvements to Avoid Runaway Reactions

Reactions with hazardous chemistries, such as cyanides, bromine and sodium metal, are not uncommon, and need special attention when scaling from small to large scale. Careful investigation and continual safety improvements are particularly important for processes that include highly reactive or hazardous chemistries.

Alessandro Agosti of Olon Spa discusses the risk assessment approach for a transformation of morpholine with dichlorothiadiazole (a high-temperature process) and how to ensure safety at large scale. The approach uses the risk assessment methodology based on the cooling failure scenario from Prof. Stoessel – allowing scientists to estimate the criticality of a reaction. In order to obtain the full picture of the process, all possible reaction pathways were investigated. This includes the desired main reaction, but also possible undesired reactions, as all of these contribute to the heat generation and potentially may lead to critical or even runaway situations.

In the studies, reaction calorimetry was used to investigate the desired reaction while differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to collect the safety data of the starting material, the intermediates, the final products and the reaction mixture. Based on these, the decomposition kinetics and subsequently the Time-to-Maximum-Rate (TMR) of the decomposition reaction were evaluated.

Combining the information of the desired reaction with the ones of the undesired reaction leads to the criticality class describing the reaction as highly critical. To study the consequences of the decomposition reaction additional experiments were executed using an adiabatic calorimeter. With this additional information at hand, a risk matrix (probability vs. consequence) was created determining the level of risk as unacceptable.

Consequently, a number of process parameters were modified to:

  • Improve the temperature and reaction control
  • Limit formation of unstable components
  • Reduce the overall criticality

View the webinar to see how modifications led to a safer, but also, high-quality process.

Alessandro Agosti - OLON Spa
28 Minutes

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