Incidents involving uncontrolled chemical reactions continue to result in injuries, fatalities, economic loss and harms in industry. These incidents are often the result of not identifying or understanding the chemical reactivity hazards involved in storage, mixing or processing operations. The chemical reactivity evaluation Tool (RMT) and the Help Guide that accompanies it can be used as an aid in identifying and evaluating chemical reactivity hazards so that they may be effectively avoided or controlled.
The chemical reactivity evaluation tool and help guide have the following objectives:
- Allow users, especially small to medium size companies, to identify most chemical reactivity hazards associated with their chemical processing and support operations.
- Emphasize ease of use for non-experts.
- Direct users to CCPS documentation and other references of the best chemical engineering practices for the identification of reactivity hazards.
- Briefly summarize the targeted CCPS documentation in the directions for inputting data.
- Provide sufficient Help Screens and examples so that users gain an understanding of how to use the reactivity evaluation software tool.
The program utilizes and builds on two published approaches for identifying chemical reactivity. Binary chemical interactions are predicted by the method of Farr and Johnson 4 in the NOAA CRW2 program. This method reduces molecular structure to a standardized list of reactive functional groups. Reactivity is predicted by comparing between all reactive group pairings between the two chemicals. Chemical segregation predictions are derived from comparing DOT codes utilizing the work of Chastain et al 5 in a slightly modified form. The scenario generation section is based on the CCPS guide book Essential Practices for Managing Chemical Reactivity Hazards. Guidelines for the evaluation results were developed by the RMR committee.
The Help Guide has been written and formatted to walk the user through the reactivity evaluation protocol describing how the program works, providing a detailed discussion on how to use the software tool including installation and help screens, and to providing worked examples of the use of the reactivity evaluation software tool. The intent of the Help Guide is to quickly assist the user in becoming proficient in the use of the reactivity evaluation software tool. The guide is formatted and cross referenced such that the user can quickly find help with specific sections of the program without having to laboriously wade through information that does not pertain to the immediate need. Helpful tips and common pit falls are flagged in the margin of the text with a small graphic. The one page main table of contents is set up to show only high level headings describing general subjects, allowing the user to quickly select a topic without being overwhelmed with endless sub-headings. Sectional table of contents hyperlinked from the main TOC provide detailed listings of all sub-heading topics covered within that section. The entire document is indexed for key words and phrases. There is a detailed FAQ section with concise answers to common user questions and hyper links to pertinent sections for more detail.