Maleic anhydride decomposes at high temperatures and releases carbon dioxide and a lot of heat. For high-purity substances, the possibility of danger is actually very small. Because usually, the distillation temperature of maleic anhydride is actually lower than its decomposition temperature. But in the presence of the following various catalytic substances, the possibility of the decomposition reaction of maleic anhydride will greatly increase.
The main catalytic substances for the decomposition of maleic anhydride are alkali metal ions and amines. Especially potassium and sodium ions are dangerous. Even if the concentration of potassium and sodium ions is very small, the decomposition temperature of maleic anhydride will be greatly reduced.
The temperature at which the decomposition reaction of maleic anhydride begins is a function of the content of alkali metal pollutants in maleic anhydride. When the content of alkali metal ions reaches 10 ppm, the temperature at which the decomposition reaction of maleic anhydride starts is about 390-400°F (200-204°C).
If the content of alkali metal such as potassium and sodium ions increases, the decomposition reaction temperature of maleic anhydride will drop drastically, and may even drop below 300°F (150°C). With the existence of alkali metal substances, anionic substances will also play a role in promoting the decomposition of maleic anhydride, but the possibility of promoting the decomposition reaction and explosion of maleic anhydride still exists, so effective measures should be taken to prevent decomposition accidents.
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