Worst-Case Scenario

Related to a chemical reactor, a worst-case scenario is the situation where temperature and/or pressure production caused by the reaction runs out of control. The heat and/or pressure the reaction produces cannot be reduced or controlled properly. If the heat of reaction is not compensated by a cooling device, the heat remains inside the reactor which is then adiabatic. Inside an adiabatic reactor, the increasing temperature is furthermore accelerating the reaction. This scenario can lead to a thermal runaway and finally in an explosion or another hazardous scenario. Simulation of a worst-case scenario is usually carried out using a calorimeter device according to accelerated rate calorimetry (ARC).

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