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Computationally Evaluate Self-Reactivity Hazards

Over the years organic chemists have synthesized millions of compounds. The original synthesis is frequently carried out on a very small scale, often less than a gram. On this scale, self-reactivity is usually not a serious concern. When the compound proves to have interesting properties it may be prepared in larger quantities. Self-reactivity hazards as well as toxicity, flammability and other hazards must then be assessed with increasing rigor as scale-up continues. In this publication is described a method that rates the tendency of new compounds to self-explode, without the need for performing extensive laboratory tests. Read more

Conduct an Effective Incident Investigation

Readers who were listening to the radio or watching television on the morning of February 1, 2003, will remember the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas. Within an hour of losing contact with the Columbia, NASA's Mission Control declared a "contingency" to ensure that all mission data were preserved. This was the start of NASA's incident investigation procedure. Information that can reveal the root cause of an incident resides in many places - within the plant or process unit, and in control rooms, offices and witnesses' minds. This paper will review how to find the data and conduct effective Witness interviews. Read more

Conducting Process Hazard Analyses for Dust Handling Operations

Techniques for managing risk associated with dust explosions continue to evolve. The most important trend is the use of a formal process hazard analysis (PHA) to identify hazards and ways to reduce and/or eliminate them. Use this checklist-based technique to identify and assess potential dust hazards and to evaluate safeguards that can mitigate risks. Read more

Defining Dust Hazard Areas Can Help Streamline PHA's

As part of the 2013 update, NFPA 654 provides clarification on how to determine if a flash fire or explosion hazard exists. As part of the facility and systems design section, it is now required that a hazard assessment be conducted to determine if dust flash fire and dust explosion hazards exist (NFPA 654 Section 6.1). The real benefit to conducting these hazard assessments is in defining combustible dust hazard areas – both inside and external to process equipment. This paper presents a multi-step approach to conducting these hazard assessments, simplifying the process and defining the areas to evaluate during the process hazard analysis (PHA) to assure that valuable resources are spent appropriately. Read more

Designing Emergency Relief Systems for Runaway Reactions

Do you suffer from the ERS design ostrich syndrome? Most companies are well-equipped to perform emergency relief system (ERS) design for single-phase flow and non-reactive systems. Existing standards and recommended engineering practices developed by organizations such as the ASME, NFPA, API, and AIChE's CCPS enable a competent engineer with proper training to perform such calculations with a high degree of confidence and accuracy. Relative systems, however, are more complex, and may be susceptible to fire-induced and process-induced runaway reactions. This paper provides guidance that applies to reactive systems subject to process- and fire-induced runaway reactions, tanks that store reactive materials, and two-phase flow of reactive materials. Read more

DHA or PHA: Using RAGAGEP to Identify Hazards in Combustible Dust Operations

DHA requirements are similar to PHAs: Evaluate the fire, deflagration and explosion hazards and recommend protections; performed or led by a qualified person; documented, including action items requiring changes. The purpose is to identify and evaluate process or facility areas with fire, flash fire or explosion hazards. Detail specific fire and deflagration scenarios, use data for representative material, evaluate each part of the process where combustible dust is present. Dust hazards include fire, flash fire and explosion. NFPA 652 requires a dust hazard assessment as part of the DHA. Read more