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College of Engineering

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October 10, 2017 | 2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: 5050 Anthony Wayne Drive West Entrance #1507 | Map
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

Why We Can’t Really Measure Flammable Limits

Speakers: Dr. Daniel A. Crowl, Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Utah; Past Herbert H. Dow Professor for Chemical Process Safety, Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University

Flammable limits have been a useful tool to prevent fires and explosions ever since the concept was defined by Sir Humphry Davy in 1816. The search continues to this day to develop an apparatus that will accurately measure these limits. Unfortunately, each apparatus developed depends on an arbitrary definition of the flammable limit boundary and the design and operation of the equipment. Today, the characterization procedure using a closed vessel shows that the flammable limit boundary is not as well defined as Sir Humphry Davy envisioned.

This seminar will review the history of flammable limits, the methods used to measure these limits, and discuss the author’s research that significantly improved the worldwide characterization methods. Finally, the current technology that industry uses to prevent fires and explosions in chemical processing, both inside and outside the process, is presented.


For more information about this event, please contact Guangzhao Mao at (313) 577-3800.