Academic Institutions

Academic InstitutionsSince Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI)'s inception in 1980, we have assisted academic institutions with process safety teaching, testing and equipment.  For example, FAI was the principal research contractor for the Design Institute for Emergency Relief Systems (DIERS), an extensive R&D program sponsored by 29 companies under the auspices of AIChE and completed in 1985.  Company founder, Dr. Hans K. Fauske served as the principal investigator and overall leader of the DIERS research project.  A primary purpose of that effort was evaluation of emergency relief vent requirements, including energy and gas release rates for systems under upset conditions and the effect of two phase flow on the emergency discharge process.

The DIERS program resulted in the development of a bench scale low thermal inertia adiabatic calorimeter, which was first commercialized as the Vent Sizing Package (VSPTM). Later improvements led to the VSP2TM. The Reactive System Screening Tool (RSST TM) was introduced by FAI in 1989 to provide an easy, inexpensive approach to the DIERS testing method. Recent enhancements led to the Advanced RSST (ARSSTTM) in 1999. FAI uses the DIERS-based VSP2TM and ARSSTTM calorimeters to characterize chemical systems and design emergency pressure relief systems. Both instruments provide vent sizing data that are directly applicable to the process scale.  

The ARSST™ is an easy to use, reliable calorimeter that is ideal for use in undergraduate laboratories to demonstrate relief valve sizing, evaluation of kinetic parameters and reinforcing the importance of thermal analysis as part of chemical process safety in industry.

A partial list of universities and colleges currently using FAI calorimeters include:  

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • Jubial Industrial College (Saudi Arabia)

  • Louisiana State University 

  • Memorial University (Canada)

  • Michigan Tech University

  • Oklahoma State University

  • Purdue University

  • Texas A & M University

  • Tokyo University (Japan)

  • Tulane University

  • University of Arkansas

  • University of Iowa

  • University of Michigan

  • University of Minnesota

  • University of Yokohama (Japan)

  • Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)

ARSST™ training provided to students, faculty and industrial users alike includes process safety principles as well as video support/demonstrations regarding use and maintenance of equipment.  All SACHE (Safety and Chemical Engineering Education) members have access to the SACHE Module "Runaway Reactions - Experimental Characterization and Vent Sizing" (2005) - featuring ARSST™ experiments and corresponding vent sizing analysis using DIERS methodology.  In addition, the AICHE Runaway Reaction Safety Certificate was developed by chemical reactivity specialist Amy Theis. Theis is also Director of Risk Management Services at FAI.

The ARSST™ can be used for the following applications in an undergraduate class:

  • Thermal hazard identification – kinetics, safety or senior design course

  • Relief system sizing – safety or senior design course

  • Closed system testing – demonstrate vapor pressure-temperature relationship for pure substance and Raoult’s Law for mixtures (thermodynamics course)

FAI calorimeters have been referenced in many textbooks, commonly used in undergraduate courses.  Some examples:

Chemical Process Safety: Fundamentals with Applications, 3rd edition, D. Crowl & J. Louvar. ARSST™ for characterization of reactive chemical hazards.  Another FAI tool, the VSP2™ (Vent Sizing Package 2) calorimeter and its application for obtaining required data for relief system design, is referenced as well.  

Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, 4th edition, H. Scott Folger.  Provides examples of RSST™/ARSST™ experiments to determine:

    • Activation energy

    • Frequency factor

    • Heat of reaction

    • Size vent relief valves for runaway exothermic reactions

For more information on this application, please read our blog, "Exploring ARSST As A Tool For Education With Industrial Relevance". 

In another blog,  "Reactive Hazard Identification Key to Chemical Engineering Process SafetyFAI points to the latest university recommendations: 

According to ABET (The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology lead by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers), the "Program Criteria for Chemical, Biochemical, Biomolecular, and Similarly Named Engineering Programs" curriculum must: 

"...provide a thorough grounding in the basic sciences including chemistry, physics, and/or biology, with some content at an advanced level, as appropriate to the objectives of the program. The curriculum must include the engineering application of these basic sciences to the design, analysis, and control of chemical, physical, and/or biological processes, including the hazards associated with these processes."  As such, it is important to be sure hazard identification is at the core of any safety program.  This article is meant to provide steps for that identification as well as evaluations and testing methods.