Designing a safe process

Topics: Chemical engineering, Design, Design management Pages: 1 (592 words) Published: October 14, 2014

Designing a safe process is a key idea that is written throughout the article and describes that by spending both time and money to create the guideline, it can prevent a much more expensive and costly consequence that can happen with poor process safety in place. In the article entitled “Designing for a Safe Process” by Phil Leckner it points out two incidents one in Dalton, Ga and one in Texas City, Tex where poor guidelines and poor process designs caused explosions and leaks that injured and killed workers on site. When working on a commercial scale chemical reaction it is essential to promote safe process design so incidents can be avoided.

The two flow diagrams that are talked about in the article are block flow diagram (BFD) and the process flow diagram (PFD). BFD’s show he overall picture of the process, showing only the major process steps. PFD’s shows both major and minor equipment with symbols, usually alphanumeric designation. PFD not only shows equipment but major and minor process streams like utility streams, which include steam, condensate, and cooling media. Because both flow diagrams have there own strengths BFD and PFD should be included into the basic design package. Also, a process definition drawing (PDD) is needed for the process design engineer to avoid accidents.

The PDD provides the operating and design conditions for each equipment item, each control valve station and relief devices. By implementing this the process engineer can recognize inconsistent operating and design conditions. This can give forethought to the safety efficiency and what the operations need to conduct safe reactions. This document is usually constructed using rudimentary drawing software instead of CAD, so that it is simple to construct and maintain.

After the basic design package is made the preliminary safety review (PSR) is done to gather documentation with process safety. These documents include MSDS for each substance used, project...
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