Process design optimization and risk analysis
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Hazard identification and risk assessment are key aspects in process plant design. They are often applied in the final stages of the process at whatever the cost, unless financial constraints are imposed. However, a much better solution would be to introduce risk analysis earlier by including it in earlier stages of the design process, such as when the cost of a plant and the cost of any accidents that may occur are estimated. In this paper, an optimization methodology is proposed, in which both cost and risk (with a deterministic approach) are taken into account, to improve on the current situation. If a decision variable is chosen, an objective function will be established that makes it possible to analyze variations in overall costs, including the cost of the investment and the cost of accidents. This leads to an optimum situation in which costs are kept to a minimum. Of course, this optimization is subject to constraints, the greatest of which is the fact that risk must not exceed tolerated threshold levels. The procedure is explained and two examples, one involving a toxic release and the other a BLEVE/fireball, are used to illustrate it.
CitationMedina, H.; Arnaldos, J.; Casal, J. Process design optimization and risk analysis. "Journal of loss prevention in the process industries", Setembre 2009, vol. 22, núm. 5, p. 566-573.