CRW Overview | AIChE

CRW Overview

Last updated March 9, 2016

CRW Overview

Reactivity is the tendency of substances to undergo chemical change, which can result in hazards—such as heat generation or toxic gas byproducts. The CRW predicts possible hazards from mixing chemicals and is designed to be used by emergency responders and planners, as well as the chemical industry, to help prevent dangerous chemical incidents.

The chemical datasheets in the CRW database contain information about the intrinsic hazards of each chemical and about whether a chemical reacts with air, water, or other materials. They also include case histories on specific chemical incidents, with references.

You can also create your own custom chemical datasheets, as you might do, for instance, if your facility produces a proprietary chemical that is not in the CRW database.

The CRW also includes a reactivity prediction worksheet that you use to virtually "mix" chemicals to simulate accidental chemical mixtures, such as in the case of a train derailment, to learn what dangers could arise from the accidental mixing. For example, if the reaction is predicted to generate gases, the CRW will list the potential gaseous products, along with literature citations related to the prediction.

The CRW has two additional modules of particular interest to the chemical industry. One of them discusses known incompatibilities between certain chemicals and common absorbents which are used in the cleanup of small spills. The other module, new in CRW 4, contains information about known incompatibilities between certain chemicals and materials that are used in the construction of containers, pipes, and valving systems on industrial chemical sites.

The Mixture Manager screen allows you to search for chemicals in the CRW's database, see a preview of the information on the chemical datasheets, and create a virtual mixture of chemicals. You can also access all the other features of the program from this screen, including the Compatibility Chart and hazards report for any mixture you create, reference information about the reactive groups used in the CRW, and information about absorbent incompatibilities with certain chemicals.

The Compatibility Chart shows the predicted hazards of mixing the chemicals in a mixture in an easy-to-use graphical interface. The reactivity predictions are color coded, and the cells on the chart can be clicked to find more information about specific predicted reactions. General hazard statements, predicted gas products, and literature documentation for the selected pair of chemicals are shown at the bottom of the chart.

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Questions: Contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions about the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet.