Guidance on Safety/Health for Process Intensification including MS Design; Part II: Explosion Hazards



The implementation of process intensification by multiscale equipment will have a profound impact on the way chemicals are produced. The shift to higher space-time yields for partial oxidation processes using micro-designed reactors comprises the risk of having a permanent explosive atmosphere in the reaction section. In Part I, it was concluded that spontaneous reaction with hot spots can be presumed if highly exothermic reactions were performed and may cause ignition of an explosive atmosphere. The risk analysis of the situation, based on public information in the literature, leads to the conclusion that microreactors are inherently safe regarding the initiation and propagation of an explosion inside a microchannel by an uncontrolled reaction. The situation is the opposite when a propagating explosion enters the same micro-designed reactor from one of the outside openings. The external explosion may enter the micro-designed equipment and destroy it when the same starting conditions are present.