Study of thermal decomposition of methyl ethyl ketone peroxide using DSC and simulation

J Hazard Mater. 2007 Apr 11;142(3):765-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2006.06.103. Epub 2006 Jul 1.


Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKPO) is a typical organic peroxide with thermally unstable nature that has been broadly employed in the manufacturing process of acrylic resins, as a hardening agent for fiberglass-reinforced plastics, and as a curing agent for unsaturated polyester resins. The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics of MEKPO 31 wt.% while mixing with contaminants, such as H(2)SO(4), HCl, and NaCl under runaway conditions. To acquire the thermal runaway data, DSC and a simulation were used for thermal analysis. The results showed that the thermal decomposition of MEKPO and MEKPO+H(2)SO(4) follows two stages. The first one can be modeled by using an empirical nth order rate equation. The second stage can be modeled as autocatalytic. MEKPO+HCl and MEKPO+NaCl included two independent autocatalytic reactions. The decomposition of MEKPO in the presence of Cl- ions (added in MEKPO either in the form of HCl or NaCl) follows a significantly different path, an earlier decomposition "onset" temperature, higher amount of generated thermal power and smaller temperature of no return (T(NR)) and time to maximum rate (TMR) values. Simulations based on experimental data indicated that the effect of H(2)SO(4) was the most dangerous contaminant on MEKPO 31 wt.%. However, the impact of Cl ions was also important. It is therefore recommended that the means of fire fighting employed for this substance to be free of Cl-.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ammonia / chemistry
  • Butanones / chemistry*
  • Catalysis
  • Chlorides / chemistry
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Explosions*
  • Hydrochloric Acid / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Sodium Chloride / chemistry
  • Sulfuric Acids / chemistry
  • Taiwan
  • Temperature
  • Wounds and Injuries


  • Butanones
  • Chlorides
  • Sulfuric Acids
  • methyl ethyl ketone peroxide
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrochloric Acid