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Handling Exotherms in Flow

One of the major challenges faced by chemists and chemical engineers arises when there is a need to scale up from the lab bench to pilot-plant or production scale. Many reactions are exothermic - meaning that they generate heat, and this heat generation must be carefully controlled to prevent potentially hazardous thermal runaways. Thermal runaways begin when the heat produced by the reaction exceeds the heat removed. The surplus heat raises the temperature of the reacti