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


Our highly experienced team keeps you up-to-date on the latest process safety developments.

Process Safety Newsletter

Stay informed with our quarterly Process Safety Newsletters sharing topical articles and practical advice.


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

Published April 2, 2019

How Proper Chemical Hazard Characterization Impacts Process Safety

By Sara Peters, Customer Outreach & Digital Media Specialist, Fauske & Associates, LLC 


flasks chemical process safetyA situation that had the potential to lead to an incident that was recently avoided at a college laboratory serves as a reminder that understanding the hazards associated with chemicals and assuring proper storage and handling is essential to the safety plan for any industry incorporating chemical use, no matter the scale, as regular practice.  It is also a critical part of any material testing plan enlisted to determine critical process parameters to avoid or mitigate unwanted reactivity and identify reactive chemical hazards and thermal instability for storage or transportation.

Visions of the classic high school experiment gone wrong were conjured up by the title of this article; the one where two incompatible liquids are accidentally combined leading to a violent reaction. In this instance however, it wasn’t an erroneous mixture exploding that caused alarm. Instead, an expired solvent, tetrahydrofuran, was found to pose a stability hazard due to the formation of highly explosive peroxides resulting from prolonged storage.  It subsequently had to be removed from the facility by the fire department, police, and a bomb squad.

“This article is interesting, especially to us, for a number of reasons,” explains Ken Kurko, Chief Technology Officer, Fauske and Associates, LLC.  “First of all, I think of the tremendous job that each and every one of our laboratory personnel does at maintaining our chemical inventory.  When chemicals are received for a project that involves testing, each sample is labeled with a project number and the date received and stored in an appropriate location.  All Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are stored in a central location.  A chemical inventory detailing sample identification, quantity, date received, and storage location is kept for all chemicals received.  The inventory is periodically purged as projects are completed.  This procedure helps us avoid these specific types of issues.”

“Secondly," continues Kurko, "the technical aspect of this article is intriguing.  The formation of peroxides within tetrahydrofuran is typically inhibited with BHT.  The problem that arises is that the inhibitor inevitably loses its effectiveness over time.  The interesting part is that we have the ability to study these types of reactivity issues with a combination of calorimetry and data analysis techniques.  A similar issue that comes to mind is the effectiveness of inhibitors at preventing the autopolymerization of monomers during prolonged storage.”

Subscribe to FAI's Process Safety Blog

When using chemicals it is paramount to recognize that each has its own unique characteristics and hazards that need to be considered as part of the safe handling practice.  Some of this information is provided on the chemical’s SDS, including:

  • Toxicity including health hazards & routes of entry
  • Corrosive properties
  • Reactivity with air, water, or moisture
  • Volatility

More specific information regarding the reactivity, flammability, or explosivity of gases, liquids, and solids can be gleaned through testing with a qualified laboratory.  Such a laboratory must have proper administrative and engineering controls in place to ensure proper material handling during storage and at desired test conditions, as well as safe disposal of all reaction and decomposition products that result.

Understanding that chemical process safety affects everyone, the Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) team is committed to a culture of safety and happy to assist with your chemical hazard identification and characterization and process safety management needs.

Contact Us


Sign up for our newsletter to Get all the latest information

Share this article

Find more resources articles