Under conditions of high pressure and temperature, ethylene can decompose to methane and carbon. This highly exothermic reaction, once initiated, is difficult to terminate. If allowed to continue, the decomposition could result in loss of containment, with the potential for fire or explosion if the ethylene finds an ignition source. This paper will describe various scenarios which have resulted in an ethylene decomposition, unsafe operating conditions, and explore what might be done to prevent such occurrences in the future.
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