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Reaction calorimetry

Originally reaction calorimeters (hereafter referred to as RC) were designed to allow a reaction to proceed under conditions that are as close as possible to plant operation conditions. In other words RC was a kind of large-scale laboratory reactor generating the results that can be easily associated with a full scale industrial process.

The major difference of RC was that in addition to facilities offered by typical lab-scale reactors, such as temperature control, feed of some reagents (modeling the semi-BATCH mode) and some others, RC allowed accurate observing  thermal phenomena occurring during the reaction development.

The first RC was designed for safety analysis of a process, but it turned out that it is very useful also for process development and scale - up; moreover, thanks to the precise temperature control and accurate measurement of the reaction heat release rate, data obtained by applying RC allowed evaluation of reaction kinetics.

One of the features that was especially useful for understanding reaction's mechanism and kinetics evaluation is that RC can easily be coupled with other analytical methods (e.g. chromatography or infra red spectroscopy).

Nowadays there are several types of RC instruments:

  • heat-flow RC represented by Mettler RC-1, SYSTAG Calo 2310, HEL Simular and some others
  • true heat-flow RC represented by innovative Chemisens CPA 202
  • heat-balance RC, represented by SYSTAG Calo 2310, Chemisens CPA 102 and some others
  • power-compensation RC. represented by HEL Simular,  Syrris Atlas and some others

Theory and practice of applying reaction calorimetry were considered in numerous articles and monographs but, as far as we know, neither of these publications contains description of the existing types of RC in compact form. Therefore we propose the overview to help in understanding principles of RC and in choosing the type of instrument most relevant for study of specific problem - see "CISP newsletter #17 "Reaction calorimetry: types, simple theory and application for kinetic study (overview)"  

The essentially expanded material has been also published in the Process Safety Progress:

A. Kossoy, Reaction calorimetry: Main types, simple theory, and application for kinetic study — A review. Process Safety Progress, v. 42, # 3, p. 417 - 429,  DOI: 10.1002/prs.12452 (see also article 26)

CISP offers the ARKS RC program for comprehensive processing and analyzing RC data and the state-of-the-art ARKS CK software for creation of concentration-based kinetic models based on RC data. These applications belong to the unique TSS-ARKS software.


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CISP Ltd., (ООО "Химинформ"), Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation  


Reaction calorimetry