Thermal Runaway Reactions

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Thermal Runaway Reactions What are thermal runaway reactions? Thermal runaway refers to a situation where an increase in temperature changes the conditions in a way that causes a further increase in temperature, often leading to a destructive result like an explosion of super-heated pressurised gas. This is a kind of uncontrolled feedback. Thermal runaway reactions occur when the heat generated by a reaction exceeds the heat removal caused by the available cooling capacity. In both chemical engineering and organic chemistry, a thermal runaway reaction is a process by which an exothermic reaction goes out of control. Thermal runaway occurs when the reaction rate increases due to an increase in temperature, causing a further increase in temperature and hence a further increase in the reaction rate. This can be extremely dangerous if it happens on an industrial scale as the What causes thermal runaway reactions? “An analysis of thermal runaways in the UK has indicated that incidents occur because of either: Inadequate understanding of the process chemistry and thermochemistry. Inadequate design for heat removal. Inadequate control systems and safety systems. Inadequate operational procedures, including training. A runaway exothermic reaction can have a range of results from the boiling over of the reaction mass, to large increases in temperature and pressure that lead to an explosion. Such violence can cause blast and missile damage. If flammable materials are released, fire or a secondary explosion may result. Hot liquors and toxic materials may contaminate the workplace or generate a toxic cloud that may spread off-site.” Why thermal runaway reactions are dangerous on an industrial scale? How industry controls the risks of thermal runaway reaction?
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