Reaktionstechnische Vorteile in Konkurrenz zum Gefahrenpotential

Chemical and Theoretical Advantages in Competition with the Hazard Potential


  • Francis Stoessel



In most industrial syntheses, one or more reactive groups must be introduced in a raw material before any synthesis becomes possible at all. Since natural raw materials are mostly not reactive by themselves, they are forced to reaction by the use of highly reactive materials. This high reactivity may appear to be an advantage in that a high reaction rate, meaning high productivity, is achieved. But the drawback is that the high reaction rate is often coupled to a poor selectivity. Thus, the use of highly reactive materials is submitted to the art of chemists and chemical engineers, in order to obtain the desired result.Additionally, the high reactivity is also the cause of the hazards linked to the handling of these materials. If released, they are able to react in an undesired way with the environment or with living bodies. Thus, most of them are toxic for humans or for the environment. Consequently, they can only be used if specific safety measures are taken, which presents a technical challenge and is also a cost factor. The fact that products whose objective is to improve the quality of life can only be manufactured by using highly reactive materials is either unknown or, if known, not accepted by the public. Some examples stemming from the industrial practice will illustrate the way how highly reactive materials can be used in a safe and economic way despite of the restraining conditions implied by the hazards. The technical development allowed great improvements, but there is also space for even more improvements in the future.