Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 16:32:21 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Dr. Jay A. Young" <chemsafety**At_Symbol_Here**VERIZON.NET>
Subject: Re: Flammable gas in a quartz tube/electric furnace assembly

If I were one of the staff assigned to work in a lab with that apparatus operating, I would call in sick every day it was scheduled to operate.
I suggest putting it in its own, separate building equipped with remote operational equipment so that all persons are several feet away when it is being used.  the separate building should have explosion-fall-away walls and a similar designed roof, with warning "Keep Away" signs posted appropriately.
Jay Young
----- Original Message -----
From: Alfred Bouziane
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 6:16 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Flammable gas in a quartz tube/electric furnace assembly

Hello everyone:

A researcher here plans to continuously flow 100 % flammable gas (methane, ethylene, hydrogen, or mixture) at 1 cfm through a quartz tube/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=94h x 24=94d x 60=94 w) in the lab;  at least two units will be active throughout the day.

The discussion centers on where to safely set up and operate 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=92s wet process hood (vertical laminar flow) and lower the sash during operation. Though not 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?

I welcome your collective input. Thank you in advance for your help.

         & nbsp;                                                 ;    

Best regards,

Alfred M. Bouziane

Project Manager

Environmental Health and Safety

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