(270c) Exploring Flammability Hazards from the Reactive Chemicals Perspective | AIChE

(270c) Exploring Flammability Hazards from the Reactive Chemicals Perspective


Bellair, R., The Dow Chemical Company
Mulligan, K., The Dow Chemical Company
Over the past half century, Dow’s Reactive Chemicals Program has supported a strong safety culture and a scientifically rigorous, risk-based review process for chemical hazards in the company’s labs and plants. The foundation of Dow’s chemical and process hazard analyses is the data generated by the Reactive Chemicals Group, who leverage measurement science, expertise in chemistry and engineering, and an understanding of Dow’s processes to support safe operation at all scales. Despite the critical role the Reactive Chemicals discipline plays in safe chemical research and manufacturing, these approaches and techniques are absent from many chemistry and chemical engineering undergraduate curricula. In this talk, we explore the Reactive Chemicals perspective on assessing flammability hazards, with a focus on common values such as the flash point, upper and lower flammable limits, minimum ignition energy, and auto-ignition temperature. Despite the ubiquity of these values, students are rarely presented with the science behind how they are measured and the corresponding limitations in how they should be applied in the manufacturing or research environment. We include industrially relevant examples to illustrate the importance of understanding flammability data on a fundamental level and to encourage the inclusion of these concepts in students’ coursework.