How to Safely Operate Multifunctional Pilot Plants - A Case Study At the Dow Chemical Co

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 4, 2012
  • Skill Level:
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Located at Dow's Freeport, Texas site, the B-4000 Multifunctional Pilot Plant has safely supported diverse research initiatives related to the development of chemical processes and evaluation of catalysts, raw materials and products since 2000. The facility provides the necessary infrastructure such as raw materials, utilities, process automation, analytical services and waste management. Due to the variety of the different chemistries and processes located within the same structure, a detailed safety risk assessment protocol is applied equally to each project irrespective of size, chemistry or complexity. Reactive Chemicals and Process Hazards Analysis aided by the use of a large set of tools is required to be completed during early stages of new projects. Interface issues between different operating processes within the facility are also studied and evaluated for managing future scale up activities once the experiment is concluded. Over the life of a project, it goes through multiple reviews to ensure the initial and continued safe operation, including:

  • Project development hazard assessments
  • A rigorous Prestartup Audit prior to introduction of chemicals and operation of the facility.
  • Periodic Process Hazards Analysis for Existing Facilities.
  • Detailed Management of Change process covering any modification or change to the project.

Unit engineers, technicians, and researchers working in partnership with Dow's Process Safety Technology Center, identify, investigate and implement best practices to ensure the ongoing safe operation of the project.

This presentation will cover the following topics:

  • Infrastructure and Pilot Plant capabilities
  • Risk Assessment Protocol
  • Training and Personal Development for Engineers and Technicians
  • Environmental, Health and Safety Performance



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