Making the chemical and process industries more sustainable: Innovative decision-making framework to incorporate technological and non-technological inherently safer design (ISD) opportunities

Yuri Di Martino, Santiago Echeverri Duque, Genserik Reniers, Valerio Cozzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Inherent safety design principles have been used extensively to design safer plants. However, to date their application is merely limited to technical changes in the process. An unexplored area of ISD is related to all the non-technical aspects linked to the safety of industrial plants, such as the Human and Organizational Factors, often referred to as HOFs. This study presents an Inherent Safety Decision Making framework (ISDDM), with the objective to provide a structured tool that can be easily used by industrial practitioners. The novelty of the ISDDM is the provision of a structured framework where purely technical and non-technical ISD alternatives are categorized and analyzed, to check if possible interactions exist among the alternatives proposed. To prove the usefulness of the model, a case-study addressing a carbon capture plant is carried out. This technology will play an important role in the reduction of CO2 emission in carbon-intense industrial processes, implying a rapid scale-up of these plants in the next years, therefore justifying the analysis of this green technology. Adopting the proposed ISDDM, the improvements in terms of safety from the base case ranged from 58% to around 70% for the best design solution, while from an economic perspective, cost variations were comprised between 16% and 22%. The results of the study demonstrate that the framework can be rigorously implemented and that it provides a considerable number of additional alternatives due to the inclusion of HOFs in the analysis. In conclusion, an improved and adequate ISD is a key to environmental sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126421
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume296
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Chemical industry
  • CO capture
  • HOFs
  • Inherently safer design
  • Safety assessment

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