Reliable detection of runaway reaction precursors in liquid phase reactions



A theoretical approach for early on-line detection of runaway reactions based on temperature derivative estimates is described and shown to be feasible in the laboratory. On-line process measurements were processed to yield smoothed derivative estimates and confidence intervals. These estimates were then compared to characteristics of potentially hazardous situations. If a match was sensed, preventive or emergency measures could be initiated. The problem lies in the tradeoff between earliest possible detection and false alarm avoidance.