Hello- One of the experiments in the lab is calling for Hexane to be heated at 50C in an incubator for 3 days. The Hexane will be used at its UEL. I am concerned about the safety of this experiment. Is this safer than I think or is there a safe way to do this experiment?
If the hexane concentration is really above the UEL it will not burn. At 50 C the vapor pressure of hexane is ~400 torr, whereas the UEL is ~7%; This is well above the UEL. You have to have a sealed container though. If the hexane can leak out and mix with ambient air the concentration in the plume will drop into the flammable range.
Hi Brian- Thanks for responding. I found out that some of the tubes would intentionally be punctured so your point about mixing with the air and entering the flammable range was helpful. I was also concerned about the vapors coming into contact with the heating element in the incubator. We decided to redesign the experiment (due to safety concerns) to perform it in a water bath in a chemical fume hood. Thanks again, Mary