Detonation caused by the compression of hydrogen and oxygen

The objective was to build up pressure in a laboratory apparatus by forcing in a mixture consisting of 66% hydrogen and 34% oxygen. The mixture detonated at a pressure of 125 bar. The body of the experimenter was torn apart by the shock wave, his lower torso was propelled 6 meters away, and his wristwatch was found 12 meters up on the roof.

It is imperative to caution against ignition hazards arising from the flow or compression of gases. Pure laboratory gases are less likely to build up an electrostatic charge than impure gases (contaminated with droplets or particles). However, compression may lead to ignition (and other reactions) with tragic results.

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