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Laboratory Burnt Out by small experiment


A small scale sealed tube chlorination of a pyrazole using POCl3

Few mgs of the pyrazole + 4ml of POCl3 in a 10ml sealed tube.  Pop into a suitable oilbath at 220°C and leave overnight.


Top floor of Research buiding burned out

Cause and Actions

Tube overpressurised (calculated pressure >300psig at 220°C - rated at 200psig at ambient), then POCL3 leaked from tube, igniting oil bath (with oil above its flash point).

Sealed tube reactions banned, clampdown on proper risk assessments

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