Generating and Maintaining Inert Atmospheres for Chemical Procedures L'inertage et les charges de produit dans un réacteur inerte


  • Dominique Spiesser



Inert atmosphere, Inertization


Inertization, in other words the reduction of the partial pressure of oxygen, is the first unitary operation of every chemical reaction and/or formulation procedure carried out on an industrial scale. Oxygen is one of the components of the so-called 'infernal triangle': fuel, oxygen, and ignition source. The major part of the raw materials used in chemical industry is combustable. It is therefore only possible to avoid the other two components of the triangle. There are still too many incidents and accidents occurring in the chemical industry. Avoiding ignition sources can generally only be considered as an accessory measure since dosing electrically isolating liquids or solids may lead to potentially dangerous electrostatic discharges. The initial inertization of a chemical reactor is absolutely necessary but a relatively simple operation. When reagents have to be added subsequently it is important to assure that the inert atmosphere is maintained. If this is relatively easy to achieve when dosing liquids from a closed tank, it is not that straightforward if solids or liquids from open containers are to be added or if the reactor has to be opened to withdraw samples. Now there are simple devices available that guarantee the conservation of the inert atmosphere throughout the whole manufacturing procedure.




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