Development of a Risk Based Inherent Safety Index Using an Integrated Approach
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The growing demand for petrochemical products and the implementation of new process technologies have made the petrochemical plants more complex; therefore, it becomes more challenging to manage the risk. Traditionally, additional layers of protection were added to prevent incidents, which further adds complexity to the existing process. Inherently safer design aims at managing the risk from the design stage of petrochemical plants, which eliminates the hazard in the process rather than control the risk during operation. When designing a new plant or modifying an existing plant, a safety index system will be helpful to assess the risk level of various options effectively. This can be achieved by considering the inherently safer design principles, i.e., elimination, substitution, moderation, and simplification. In this work, a novel safety index system was developed to cover the life cycle of a process design, which includes the research stage, process development stage, and engineering design stage. This safety index will be used to evaluate the risk level of petrochemical facilities by comparing toxic, flammable, explosive, runaway reaction, dust and physical explosion risks and identify the areas where inherently safer design principles can be used to improve the process. A case study on ethanol synthesis process will be presented for the validation of the index system developed.
DescriptionCopyright © 2018 by Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center Prepared for Presentation at American Institute of Chemical Engineers 2018 Spring Meeting and 14th Global Congress on Process Safety Orlando, Florida April 22 – 25, 2018
Xu, Wei; Zhang, Bin; Sun, Yue; Escobar, Harold; Jain, Prerna; Zhu, Wen; Gopalaswami, Nirupama; Roy, Nitin; Mu, Shanjun; Mannan, M. Sam (2018). Development of a Risk Based Inherent Safety Index Using an Integrated Approach. American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Available electronically from