Integrating Chemical Hazard Assessment into the Design of Inherently Safer Processes
MetadataShow full item record
Reactive hazard associated with chemicals is a major safety issue in process industries. This kind of hazard has caused the occurrence of many accidents, leading to fatalities, injuries, property damage and environment pollution. Reactive hazards can be eliminated or minimized by applying Inherently Safer Design (ISD) principles such as "substitute" or "moderate" strategies. However, ISD would not be a feasible option for industry without an efficient methodology for chemical hazard assessment, which provides the technical basis for applying ISD during process design. In this research, a systematic chemical hazard assessment methodology was developed for assisting the implementation of ISD in the design of inherently safer process. This methodology incorporates the selection of safer chemicals and determination of safer process conditions, which correspond to "substitute" and "moderate" strategies in ISD. The application of this methodology in conjunction with ISD technique can effectively save the time and investment spent on the process design. As part of selecting safer chemicals, prediction models were developed for predicting hazardous properties of reactive chemicals. Also, a hazard index was adopted to rate chemicals according to reactive hazards. By combining the prediction models with the hazard index, this research can provide important information on how to select safer chemicals for the processes, which makes the process chemistry inherently safer. As part of determining safer process conditions, the incompatibility of Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide (MEKPO) with iron oxide was investigated. It was found that iron oxide at low levels has no impact on the reactive hazards of MEKPO as well as the operational safety. However, when iron oxide is beyond 0.3 wt%, it starts to change the kinetics of MEKPO runaway reaction and even the reaction mechanism. As a result, with the presence of a certain level of iron oxide (> 0.3 wt%), iron oxide can intensify the reactive hazards of MEKPO and impose higher risk to process operations. The investigation results can help to determine appropriate materials for fabricating process equipment and safer process conditions.
Lu, Yuan (2011). Integrating Chemical Hazard Assessment into the Design of Inherently Safer Processes. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from