SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1987

Thermal Autoignition Temperatures from the 1.2-L Furnace and Their Use in Evaluating the Explosion Potential of Dusts


The Bureau of Mines 1.2-L furnace for measuring the thermal autoignition temperatures (AITs) of dusts in air is described. The minimum AITs measured for a large number of dusts are presented, and the data are compared with those in the literature. The data reveal that the measured minimum AITs for the carbonaceous dusts correlate with their volatility yield and the temperature required for pyrolysis and devolatilization. Reaction kinetic factors play a role in determining the onset temperature for the pyrolysis-devolatilization process and in the exothermic oxidation reactions that lead to the autoignition of those volatiles.

The use of the minimum AIT data in estimating the explosion potential of a dust under a given set of operating conditions is also considered. The “ignition sensitivity” parameter and its use in an “explosibility index” are no longer recommended by the Bureau. Alternative means are discussed for evaluating the frequency or probability of explosions in terms of the measured minimum AIT and its relationship to operating conditions in a given facility and to other flammability properties of the dust.

Author Information

Conti, RS
Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh Research Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Hertzberg, M
Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh Research Center, Pittsburgh, PA
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Developed by Committee: E27
Pages: 45–59
DOI: 10.1520/STP28165S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5019-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0957-5