Thermal runaway is a serious problem in the chemical industry from a safety point of view. Among the measures that must be taken into consideration to avoid it, is the set of the optimal operating conditions. However, reactors are never safe from failure events despite the choice of optimal operating conditions. In the present work, the fault detection was studied and discussed by using two different thermal runaway criteria. The performances of detection when a faulty situation occurred, were compared using the chosen thermal runaway criteria. These faulty operations are the results of faults on the cooling system. The chosen reaction for this study is the perhydrolysis of formic acid to peroxyformic acid by hydrogen peroxide. The reaction was studied in a batch reactor under isoperibolic normal mode.
From the results obtained, the studied criteria can provide good prediction of unsafe operation of reactors when a fault on the operating parameters occurred. The performance of detection of thermal runaway situation differs between the criteria. However, the criteria can be used as helpful tools for online reactor operations.