CCPS Pharma, Food, and Fine Chemicals Workshop, September 2022 | AIChE

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Effectively Managing Reactive Chemistry Risks—Part 1

AIChE CCPS Pharma, Food & Fine Chemicals Subcommittee

Virtual Meeting on Sept. 7, 2022 10 AM to 12:15 PM EDT

This meeting is by invitation only!

Agenda for Sept. 7, 2022


For more information contact: Gary Amideneau, CCPS Staff Liaison (530) 646-7649

Panel Member Biographies

  • Pharma/Food/Fine Chemicals Subcommittee—Welcome & General Announcements (5 min)
    • Gary Amideneau CCPS Staff Liaison
  • A Process Safety Moment (5min)
    • Bruce Bullough, CCPSC   Session Moderator
  • Introduction of Reactive Chemistry Topics to Be Addressed at This Session & Possible Future Topics (5 min)
    • Jerry L Jones, PE    Session Moderator
  • Presentation #1: Overview of the Reactive Chemicals Program at Dow (30 min)
    • Katie Mulligan, Ph.D  Reactive Chemicals Subject Matter Expert
  • Presentation #2: Inherently Safer Chemical Synthesis Processes (30 min)
    • Dennis Hendershot, AIChE Fellow
  • Presentation #3: Chemical Synthesis Process Design--Using the Right Data to Get the Right Answers (30min)
    • Don Knoechel, PhD (retired, formerly with Fauske & Associates)
    • Gabe Wood (Fauske & Associates)
  • Q&A (30 minutes)

Request Submission of Suggestions for Other Reactive Chemistry Topics for Future Discussion & Adjourn

Multidisciplinary Product/Process R&D and Manufacturing Process Design Teams dealing with chemical synthesis processes face many challenges related to process chemistry, process economics, process design/safety, schedule, and product market uncertainty on the road to commercializing chemical products (individual chemical or polymer entities or formulated products).

Chemists and chemical engineers from this expert panel will in this session address some of the 20 questions listed in the table listed at the end of this flyer for managing Reactive Chemistries to ensure that chemical research & development/process design/ manufacturing teams involved with chemical synthesis processes:

  • Ask the RIGHT Questions at the RIGHT TIMES,
  • Have the RIGHT data to answer the questions,
  • Have the RIGHT people with the appropriate competencies to analyze/interpret/use the data for making good risk decisions.

Some of the many questions that need to be asked and answered by teams are listed in an attached table and a few of those questions will be addressed in the first-panel discussion session on Sept. 7.

During the planned series of panel discussions the panel members will provide specific industry examples across the pharma, food, and specialty chemicals sectors as to how reactive chemistry hazards have been managed.

The agenda for the first session on September 7, 2022, is shown above. Additional topics for future sessions will also be described during the session and attendees will be asked to suggest other topics of interest to them related to managing reactive chemistries for discussion during 2023.

20 Questions to Ask during the Planning of Scaleup of Chemical Reactions

to Identify Hazards & Manage Risks

(to appear in CCPS Guidelines book on Risk Based Process Safety in Labs & Pilot Plants-2022)

Question #1. Do you know the heat of reaction for the intended and other potential chemical reactions?

Question #2. Did you calculate the maximum adiabatic temperature for the reaction mixture?

Question #3. Did you determine the thermal stability of all individual components of the reaction mixture at the maximum adiabatic reaction temperature?

Question #4. Do you understand the thermal stability of the reaction mixture at the maximum adiabatic reaction temperature?

Question #5. Did you determine the heat addition and heat removal capabilities of the reactor (for use in the lab, pilot plant or production)?

Question #6. Do you generally understand the relative reaction rates of all chemical reactions?

Question #7. Do you understand the hazards of the products of both intended and unintended reactions?

Question #8. Did you identify any potential reaction contaminants that could significantly affect reaction chemistries?

Question #9. Did you identify all heat sources connected to the reaction vessel and determine their maximum temperature?

Question #10. Did you determine the minimum temperature to which the reactor cooling sources could cool the reaction mixture?

Question #11. Did you consider the impact of higher temperature gradients in plant scale equipment compared to a laboratory or pilot plant reactor?

Question #12:  For an exothermic reaction operated in batch mode have you considered using a “limiting” reactant feeding mode?

Question #13:  For an exothermic reaction operated in batch mode have you considered alternative cooling system designs to provide excess capacity and greater reliability of the cooling system, a reactor quench system or redundant emergency backup cooling system?

Question #14:  For an exothermic reaction operated in batch mode have you considered the feasibility of a continuous flow reactor and benefits to operational control, safety and economics?

Question #15. Have you considered possible unintended vapor phase reactions for reactors with vapor space above a liquid phase where the intended reactions occur?

Question #16. Did you develop a Chemical Interaction Matrix or conduct a Chemical Hazard Analysis to identify the hazards from possible inadvertent mixing of chemicals (including chemical waste) in use or storage in the area?

Question #17. Did you consider the impacts of possible deviations from intended reactant charges and specified operating conditions on the process chemistry? (Also consider Question #18 when answering this question.)

Question #18: For the batch synthesis system, have you identified any reactive chemistries or potential deviations in physical conditions in the liquid or slurry reaction mass or vapor space above that could lead to coating of surfaces (on instrument probes, heat transfer surfaces, etc.) or pluggage of critical flow lines or orifices such as vent ports leading to pressure relief devices?

Question #19: Considering the answers to numerous questions above, have you estimated the maximum rate of pressure rise, the maximum pressure that could be achieved, and what scenario(s) will serve as a basis for design of the reactor pressure relief system?

Question #20: Have you considered how to safely fill, completely empty and clean the process system and all components, and methods to inspect/verify cleanliness that may impact safety instrumentation or other safeguards (e.g. pressure relief)? 

Source: Adapted from paper by D.C. Hendershot and A.I. Ness, Pilot Plant Reactive Chemistry Incidents: Case Studies and Prevention, Paper presented at the AIChE National Meeting, October 30-November 4, 2005, Cincinnati, OH Paper 80c. Additional questions added by book project team.