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Essentials of Chemical Reaction Engineering by H. Scott Fogler

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13.2.2 Case History of a Batch Reactor with Interrupted Isothermal Operation Causing a Runaway Reaction

In Chapters 5 and 6 we discussed the design of reactors operating isothermally. This operation can be achieved by efficient control of a heat exchanger. The following example shows what can happen when the heat exchanger suddenly fails.

Example 13-2. Safety in Chemical Plants with Exothermic Runaway Reactions2

A serious accident occurred at the Monsanto plant in Sauget, Illinois, on August 8 at 12:18 A.M. (see Figure E13-2.1). The blast was heard as far as 10 miles away in Belleville, Illinois, where people were awakened from their sleep. The explosion occurred in a batch reactor that was used to produce nitroaniline from ammonia and o-nitrochlorobenzene ...

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