Ammonia synthesis fundamentals for a model-based HAZOP study
Institute of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava
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Abstract: Hazard and operability (HAZOP) analysis is a highly disciplined process hazard analysis (PHA) technique based on the exploration of the effects of process variables deviations. Inconveniences of a conventional HAZOP study are its time-consuming character and high cost. The principal objective of this paper is to present a new methodology for hazard identification of a selected chemical production process. Model-based HAZOP study is a very robust tool for predicting a systems response to deviations from design or operation conditions. An approach based on the mathematical modelling of a process can help to identify sources of hazard that could be overlooked by conventional PHA techniques. A case study focused on the multiple steady states phenomenon in an ammonia synthesis reactor is presented. The process simulation was performed using the Aspen HYSYS v8.4 process modelling environment. Nonlinear behaviour of the investigated fixed-bed reactor system was confirmed by an accident in an industrial ammonia synthesis reactor. The analysed system exhibited the feed temperature and pressure dependence of various operation parameters. This fact indicates the presence of multiple steady states. From the safety analysis point of view, switching between steady states can lead to process hazards.
Keywords: model-based process hazard analysis, HAZOP study, ammonia synthesis, nonlinear behaviour
Full paper in Portable Document Format: acs_0200.pdf
Acta Chimica Slovaca, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2015, pp. 5—10, DOI: 10.1515/acs-2015-0002