Thermal explosion analysis of methyl ethyl ketone peroxide by non-isothermal and isothermal calorimetric applications

J Hazard Mater. 2009 Nov 15;171(1-3):1145-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.06.125. Epub 2009 Jun 30.


In the past, process incidents attributed to organic peroxides (OPs) that involved near misses, over-pressures, runaway reactions, and thermal explosions occurred because of poor training, human error, incorrect kinetic assumptions, insufficient change management, and inadequate chemical knowledge in the manufacturing process. Calorimetric applications were employed broadly to test organic peroxides on a small-scale because of their thermal hazards, such as exothermic behavior and self-accelerating decomposition in the laboratory. In essence, methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKPO) is highly reactive and exothermically unstable. In recent years, it has undergone many thermal explosions and runaway reaction incidents in the manufacturing process. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), vent sizing package 2 (VSP2), and thermal activity monitor (TAM) were employed to analyze thermokinetic parameters and safety index. The intent of the analyses was to facilitate the use of various auto-alarm equipments to detect over-pressure, over-temperature, and hazardous materials leaks for a wide spectrum of operations. Results indicated that MEKPO decomposition is detected at low temperatures (30-40 degrees C), and the rate of decomposition was shown to exponentially increase with temperature and pressure. Determining time to maximum rate (TMR), self-accelerating decomposition temperature (SADT), maximum temperature (T(max)), exothermic onset temperature (T(0)), and heat of decomposition (DeltaH(d)) was essential for identifying early-stage runaway reactions effectively for industries.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Butanones / chemistry*
  • Calorimetry / methods*
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning / methods
  • Chemistry, Organic / methods
  • Explosions*
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Peroxides / chemistry
  • Pressure
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Taiwan
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics


  • Butanones
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Peroxides
  • methyl ethyl ketone peroxide
  • Hydrogen Peroxide