The focus of most laboratory experiments and piloting operations is the development of a new, innovative chemical process or the improvement of an existing chemical process. These activities are designed to, and focus on, evaluation of the intended chemistry for the process being studied. The knowledge gained during the piloting efforts is critical for the commercialization of a new process or the implementation of process improvements to an existing process. However, the formal identification of process hazards via a process hazard analysis does not typically occur until after the conclusion of the experimental and piloting efforts. Hazard identification can be hindered by the absence of data for potential side reactions, generation of hazardous byproducts, and safe operating limits. This paper illustrates the need for the inclusion of hazard assessment in the experimental and piloting efforts, so that unintended chemistry issues are identified and addressed as early in the development process as practical.
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