Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion and reactivity hazards

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Gas and Vapor

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations
Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen
Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Thermal Stability

Safe storage or processing requires an understanding of the possible hazards associated with sensitivity to variations in temperature

Adiabatic Calorimetry
Data demonstrate the consequences of process upsets, such as failed equipment or improper procedures, and guide mitigation strategies including Emergency Relief System (ERS) design
Reaction Calorimetry
Data yield heat and gas removal requirements to control the desired process chemistry
Battery Safety

Testing to support safe design of batteries and electrical power backup facilities particularly to satisfy UL9540a ed.4

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Cable Testing
Evaluate electrical cables to demonstrate reliability and identify defects or degradation
Equipment Qualification (EQ)
Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions
Water Hammer
Analysis and testing to identify and prevent unwanted hydraulic pressure transients in process piping
Acoustic Vibration
Identify and eliminate potential sources of unwanted vibration in piping and structural systems
Gas & Air Intrusion
Analysis and testing to identify and prevent intrusion of gas or air in piping systems
ISO/IEC 17025:2017

Fauske & Associates fulfills the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 in the field of Testing

ISO 9001:2015
Fauske & Associates fulfills the requirements of ISO 9001:2015
Dust Hazards Analysis
Evaluate your process to identify combustible dust hazards and perform dust explosion testing
On-Site Risk Management
On-site safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up
DIERS Methodology
Design emergency pressure relief systems to mitigate the consequences of unwanted chemical reactivity and account for two-phase flow using the right tools and methods
Deflagrations (Dust/Vapor/Gas)

Properly size pressure relief vents to protect your processes from dust, vapor, and gas explosions

Effluent Handling

Pressure relief sizing is just the first step and it is critical to safely handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

FATE™ & Facility Modeling

FATE (Facility Flow, Aerosol, Thermal, and Explosion) is a flexible, fast-running code developed and maintained by Fauske and Associates under an ASME NQA-1 compliant QA program.

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical
Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid, flow, and electric power systems
Hydrogen Safety
Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen
Thermal Hydraulics
Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions
Nuclear Safety
Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant
Radioactive Waste
Safety analysis to underpin decomissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials
Adiabatic Safety Calorimeters (ARSST and VSP2)

Low thermal inertial adiabatic calorimeters specially designed to provide directly scalable data that are critical to safe process design

Other Lab Equipment and Parts for the DSC/ARC/ARSST/VSP2 Calorimeters

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory


Software for emergency relief system design to ensure safe processing of reactive chemicals, including consideration of two-phase flow and runaway chemical reactions


Facility modeling software mechanistically tracks transport of heat, gasses, vapors, and aerosols for safety analysis of multi-room facilities


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With over 40 years of industry expertise, we have a wealth of process safety knowledge to share.

Recent Posts

Process Safety Strategy – Chemical Reaction Hazard

Posted by Fauske & Associates on 05.30.19

By Himanshu Chichra, Principal Process Safety Engineer and host of ‘Process Safety and Risk Blog’

First, of all, I would like to thank Fauske & Associates LLC (FAI) for their continuous support and for publishing my last blog post "Should Set Point For Pressure Relieving Device Be Equivalent to Design Pressure?" on their website.

As per the research conducted by Dr Phil Nolan (South Bank University, UK) and Dr. John Barton (UK Health and Safety Executive) and graduate students based on data analysis, the following four gaps have contributed equally i.e. 25% each to thermal runaway reactions leading to multiple incidents in past:

1. Lack of proper understanding of the thermochemistry (heat of reaction) and chemistry (balanced chemical equation)

2. Insufficient engineering design for reactor heat transfer system

3. Inadequate control and safety back-up systems including emergency relief systems, process vent, and other engineering controls

4. Poorly written batch procedures and insufficient operator training

Concept Sciences Inc. Explosion
Concept Sciences Inc. Explosion

Hence, it is imperative to develop a process safety strategy to address these four gaps. A process safety strategy should include the following:

1. Preliminary Hazard Analysis (Screening)

  • Review the molecular structure of known reactive groups and the balanced chemical equations
  • Conduct literature searches (SDS, NFPA, Bretherick's, Heat of Reaction Theoretical Calculations, CHETAH calculations, chemical compatibility, etc.)
  • Perform small-scale thermal stability tests (Example: DSC)

2. Assess the Desired Reaction

  • Conduct Reaction Calorimetry testing on the reaction of interest and the subsequent quench reaction
  • How much heat (or gas) is generated? Is cooling adequate?
  • If a scale-up assessment suggests a much longer addition is needed to allow the available cooling capacity to maintain temperature control, does the desired reaction still perform to standard (i.e. produce the same quality product as was made in the lab)?

3. Assess the Undesired or Decomposition Reaction

  • Conduct Adiabatic Calorimetry testing (Example: VSP2) to obtain data on temperature and pressure vs. time
  • From the Adiabatic data evaluate the rates of temperature and pressure rise.
  • How fast is heat (or gas) generated?
  • Is the pressure relief system adequate, both in terms of the relief vent area and set pressure?

Dr. James P. Burelbach, Director Process Safety at Fauske & Associates LLC says, "Reaction Calorimetry and Adiabatic Calorimetry are two distinctly different things that both have their place in a process safety strategy. Sometimes, it is a challenge to help people understand the difference and sometimes people think that by getting an RC1 or similar they are covered as far as process safety calorimetry goes. I think this can be a very dangerous approach. I try to simplify by saying that reaction calorimetry helps you understand the desired chemical reactions (for example to design process heat removal systems) while adiabatic calorimetry helps you understand (and prepare for) undesired chemical reactions (for example to ensure there is an adequate pressure relief system if process cooling is lost)."

4. Review Batch Directions and Operator Training

  • Batch review meetings to ensure procedures are correct
  • Operator training to ensure a clear understanding of the procedures

5. Reduce risk or redesign process

  • Mitigation by having an adequately sized pressure relief system (might include dump tank)
  • Redesigning to make it inherently safer using elimination or substitution

Process Safety Strategy Chemical Reaction Hazard

Process Safety Strategy: CRH (Ref: FAI)

A strategy such as outlined here helps to formalize the process for easy identification of hazards and enables companies to opt for appropriate measures to mitigate the risk to an acceptable level.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you can relate to understand the steps one should follow while identifying chemical reaction hazards. If you would like to share on the topic, your experience, your questions or future blog topics, you can write to me on

Mr. Chichra is a guest blogger with whom Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) has recently worked to support customers in India. Read more of his posts related to process safety at and subscribe to FAI's blog to never miss out on any new process safety content.

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Topics: Process Safety, Reactive Chemicals


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