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Exploding Cylinders of Borane

The incident

Cylinders of Borane/THF mixture exploded without warning, causing considerable damage and 2 serious injuries.

The Investigation

The cylinders contained a 2.0 molar solution of borane in THF.  They have been stored in an open cage for some days prior to use, the weather during this time was particularly warm.

Subsequent analysis of the material (fresh) indicated an instability which showed that the material would runaway to destruction after 4 days at 30C.  This was not known at the time of the incident, hence the use of open air storage without refrigeration.

Lessens Learnt

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