Regarding vessels and tubes containing combustible gases or dusts, it is important to acquire knowledge on the conditions under which a fuel and oxidizer could undergo explosive reactions. These conditions are strongly dependent on the pressure and temperature. Given a premixed fuel-oxidizer system at room temperature and ambient pressure, the mixture is essentially unreactive. However, if an ignition source is applied locally and the composition of the mixture is within certain limits (the so-called flammability limits), a region of explosive reaction can propagate through the gaseous mixture due to mainly two phenomena: (1) Temperature rises substantially, (2) High concentration of radicals to form. Characterizing potential explosive reactions is one of the main objectives of hazard assessment. Safeguards to be implemented in process equipment, best process conditions, appropriate prevention and/or mitigation measures, are some of the key purposes to be clarified when handling flammable mixtures. This characterization requires knowledge of several parameters that directly influence on the explosive reaction behavior. One of these parameters is the Laminar Flame Speed, which is one of the key factors that define the kinetics of the reaction. The present paper addresses how to characterize fuel-oxidizer explosive reactions, and highlights the importance of the laminar flame speed concept. The main purpose of this study is to provide reliable data regarding laminar flame speeds with the aim to ensure accurate calculations for hazard assessment purposes.
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