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Author: Subject: Intentional runaway test?
Fyndium
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[*] posted on 28-2-2021 at 08:09
Intentional runaway test?


Doing a new exothermic oxidation I thought that what if a synthesis was ran to runaway to test its limits? Has anyone ever done this? Of course this kind of testing would need a suitable place.

In general, is there a risk for explosive thermal runaway or is it just the good'ol geysir and messy aftermath?

I'm usually very conservative(scared) on pushing reactions and take more time than risk runaways if that is an option. Another thing I love in large waterbaths: they allow temp control within 5C over several hours with manual adjustment and will turn from heat to cool at the moment the reaction temp changes even a degree. Stirring of the bath has huge impact on thermal transmission rate and it can easily allow halving some things time like additions etc.

[Edited on 28-2-2021 by Fyndium]
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zed
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[*] posted on 28-2-2021 at 19:46


Why yes.... Fyndium, such tests ARE occasionally run.

Seems to me, the events at Three Mile Island and possibly Chernobyl, were triggered by such tests.

But, perhaps I am mistaken. Maybe that was part of the plot of the now long forgotten movie "The China Syndrome".

[Edited on 1-3-2021 by zed]
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DraconicAcid
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[*] posted on 28-2-2021 at 20:45


I know I spent many trials trying to find a way to get the nitric acid oxidation of cyclohexanol to adipic acid to run without always turning into a volcano.



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Texium (zts16)
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[*] posted on 1-3-2021 at 08:50


Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  
Doing a new exothermic oxidation I thought that what if a synthesis was ran to runaway to test its limits? Has anyone ever done this? Of course this kind of testing would need a suitable place.

In general, is there a risk for explosive thermal runaway or is it just the good'ol geysir and messy aftermath?
I don't think there is a generalization that can be made. What is the specific reaction that you are wanting to test? That is necessary information for knowing whether it will explode or just boil over.

The utility of such a test would be pretty marginal anyway. Testing it on a smaller scale than you intend to run it wouldn't be helpful, since reactions are more sensitive to runaway at larger scales, and if you're going to test it at the scale that you actually want to run it at, you may as well just try and do it right.




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