Guidelines for Identifying and Mitigating Thermal Hazards of Sustainable Materials

Global Congress on Process Safety
2011 Global Congress on Process Safety
Global Congress on Process Safety
March 14, 2011 - 8:00pm

Sustainable materials and technologies (a.k.a. ?Green?) are those that are ?delivered with progressively less negative impact upon the Earth.? Thermal hazards such as self-heating, thermal runaway, fires, and explosions may be associated with a particular sustainable material or process technology. Thermal hazards are a result of the interaction between the exothermic reactivity of the material and the processing or storage conditions (e.g., environment, temperature, duration, size, and configuration). These materials and technologies may pose thermal hazards that only become apparent at large scale production and storage levels. With the move towards developing sustainable materials and technologies, many potential new hazardous scenarios for established organizations or for start-up companies may be identified. For example, scaling processing up from pilot to full-scale may lead to large enough material volumes that thermal hazards that were not identified at the pilot level become significant. Another example may be the increased size of stockpiles of materials required for full scale operations. This paper aims to provide an overview of several sustainable materials and green technology areas with a discussion of the potential thermal hazards presented. The paper will provide guidance for identifying potential thermal hazards in systems and for developing successful prevention and mitigation schemes against fires and explosions.

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