Initial Calculations for Reaction Hazard Identification
Reactive chemicals accidents often arise from complex and inter-related physicochemical origins, but most of them could have been foreseen by the use of thermo-kinetic data generated by laboratory tests and hazard analysis. In many instances, an initial elementary hazard evaluation could have forewarned of the potential for subsequent catastrophic events.
For small and mid-sized chemical companies initial hazard identification and reactive chemicals assessment continues to be challenging. Lack of appropriate resources such as experienced personnel, time, and physical resources are usually cited as causes for the difficulties.
In the AIChE Spring 2002 Loss Prevention Symposium we presented 12 hazard assessment tools, many of which could be used within an 8 hour study period, designed to assist in performing an initial hazard assessment. This presentation extends that analysis and details the quantitative tools that can provide clear signals about the potential hazards of the process under consideration. We will show the types of quantitative information that can be gained with and without the need for experimental data. We will also demonstrate the calculations that can be performed to yield valuable information about the target chemical processes and related safety-oriented operating strategies.
These calculation techniques are straightforward to use and provide the information needed to assess the nature and extent of the potential hazards. This information also supports the need and justification for detailed reactive chemical testing and evaluation.