(161a) Application of Calorimetric Data in Reactive Chemicals Evaluations of Laboratory-Scale Processes | AIChE

(161a) Application of Calorimetric Data in Reactive Chemicals Evaluations of Laboratory-Scale Processes

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. Research activities at the laboratory and pilot scales represent a unique challenge with respect to managing reactivity hazards and preventing incidents. While a smaller scale can reduce the risks and consequences of an incident, research activities often involve new chemicals with unknown hazards, frequent changes to scope in response to new discoveries, or reactions that are not yet well-understood. In addition, time and resources are often limited, particularly when it is not clear whether the research will be successful. Despite these challenges, identifying, evaluating, and addressing reactivity hazards is essential to prevent injuries or equipment damage from uncontrolled or unexpected chemical reactions. To ensure that research and development of new chemistries and processes continue safely, the Reactive Chemicals Group at Dow applies an agile, flexible, safe, and rigorous approach to reactive chemicals hazard identification and evaluation for small-scale processes. In this talk, I will discuss the fundamentals of applying calorimetric data to assess reactivity hazards, particularly when evaluating novel chemistries or processes. While rapid screening techniques such as differential scanning calorimetry may be appropriate in some hazard evaluations, other processes require more sophisticated experimental methods, such as accelerating rate calorimetry. I will illustrate the application of appropriate calorimetric data in evaluating a prospective experiment or small-scale process, and I will discuss examples of how a Reactive Chemicals Subject-Matter Expert might evaluate the likely outcomes of plausible worst-case scenarios.