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Exploring ARSST As A Tool For Education With Industrial Relevance

Posted by The Fauske Team on 12.05.13

Part 3 of 3 part series - 

Here, we consider the obvious application of the ARSST(Advanced Reactive System Screening Tool) for educational purposes as well as its long range industrial relevance.  As ABET (formerly, The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) more specifically defines the role of process safety curriculum, the ARSST plays an increasing role in university classrooms worldwide. Safety as a topic has been the priority of Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) for nearly 24 years and we have advocated curriculum for chemical engineering lab experiments as well as for any design project or analysis.  


In Part 1, we emphasized 20 key steps to hazard identification as the core of any safety program providing steps for identification as well as evaluation and testing methods in: "Reactive Hazard Identification Key To Chemical Engineering Process Safety" on November 14.

According to ABET , 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."  

In Part 2, we discussed: "Meeting ABET Requirements: ARSST™ is Key to Chemical Process Safety" on November 20. The ARSST is a low thermal inertia calorimeter used to obtain critical upset process design data. Based on DIERS two-phase flow methodology, which is recognized by OSHA as "an example of good engineering practice", this device is also capable of generating low phi-factor data for DIERS vent sizing. 

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

FAI's commitment to safety and dedication to provide training and educational resources to chemical process safety engineering departments at universities has been in place for many decades. Students become the professionals of the work place who advance in roles of increasing demand and responsibility. Emphasis on safety principles in all areas of industry continues to grow and we are always here to help.  

For more information on process safety training, ARSST™ or other calorimeters, please contact:  Jeff Griffin,, 630-887-5278

Subscribe to FAI's Quarterly "Process Safety News"

Topics: process safety, chemical engineering safety, thermal stability, runaway reactions, VSP2, adiabatic calorimetry, ABET requirement, chemical


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