A researcher here plans to continuously flow 100 % fla mmable gas (methane, ethylene, hydrogen, or mixture) at 1 cfm through a quartz tub e/electric furnace assembly that is heated to 800 degrees C (exceeds the auto-ignition temperature of the gases). The researcher intends to have four (4) of these units (~18”h x 24”d x 60” w) in the lab; at least t wo units will be active throughout the day.
The discussion centers on where to safely set up and o perate them. The researcher proposed mounting the units on open benchtops (two per benchtop) to accommodate their size and facilitate use (the gases would be piped to the units via stainless steel tubing from an adjacent gas room). Though seemingly practical, I feel this would require considerable $$ investment in engineering controls (canopy hood, blast shields, etc.) to adequately protect the research staff from potential mishaps (gas leaks, explosions). My thought is to mount the assembly in the lab’s wet pro cess hood (vertical laminar flow) and lower the sash during operation. Though no t ideal, it would reduce the potential of these mishaps. NOTE: There are only two available process hoods in the lab, hence, only two assemblies would be up and running (not a bad thing in my opinion).
Here are my questions:
1. Has anyone tackled a problem like this in the past? How was it resolved?
2. What other safeguards do you recommend?< /p>
I welcome your collective input. Thank you in advance for your help.
Alfred M. Bouziane
Environmental Health and Safety
University of Southern California
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