Intrinsic Hazards Assessment: Chemical Reactivity Hazards Assessment for Nitration Processes and Nitrochemicals Handling

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    March 31, 2014
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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Chemical Reactivity Hazards Assessment for Nitration and Decomposition of Nitrochemicals

S. Dharmavaram 1and R.W. Trebilcock2

1E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co., 1007 Market St.  Wilmington, DE 19898

2E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co., Building K-37, Chambers Works, Deepwater, NJ  08023


Nitro-compounds made from the nitration of organic or inorganic compounds are highly reactive chemicals used for producing a variety of commercial products worldwide.  However, the potential for over-nitration and the inadvertent or unexpected decomposition can lead to very high chemical reactivity hazards with dangerous consequences.  Such reactions are exothermic leading to generation of heat that can accelerate the reaction causing a rapid temperature and pressure increase in a vessel.   A detailed chemical reactivity hazard assessment should include the estimation and/or measurement of several parameters such as the heat of reaction, adiabatic temperature rise, maximum self-heat rate, exothermal onset temperature and oxygen balance.  A systematic approach used for assessing chemical reactivity hazards in a nitro-chemicals plant and implementation of safe designs is presented in this paper.

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