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Abstract

An ARCTM or similar experimental apparatus provides the transient temperature history of a chemical system under adiabatic conditions. The information obtained has several applications in the design and operation of industrial systems. Of particular interest is use of the adiabatic kinetic data to define “intervention strategies” based on “allowable response times” during an emergency.

The time-temperature behavior of industrial reactors can be simulated over a limited temperature range by matching the “thermal inertia” (or ϕ-factor) of the experimental system to that of the full-scale system. This approach is applicable even for complex reactions, minimizes the extrapolation of data, and allows the use of simple models for data interpretation. Simulation results directly give the time available to respond in the event of a thermal runaway; this in turn defines the design requirements for an intervention scheme (e.g., emergency cooling, blow down, quench, etc.). The chosen intervention system can be tested experimentally prior to and/or during process start-up.