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Modeling Ethylene Plant Cracking Heater Burner Light-Off Safety Instrumented Functions

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    March 29, 2017
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • PDHs:

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Modeling Ethylene Plant Cracking Heater Burner Light-Off Safety Instrumented Functions


David Lewis


Functional Safety Engineer

NOVA Chemicals Corporation

Process Safety and Risk Services

P.O. Box 5006

Red Deer, AB, T4N 6A1




Ethylene Plant Cracking Heaters require the design of Safety Instrumented Functions to help manage the risk of startup and operation of the Heater. Lighting off the burners on multiple burner Heaters can represent a high risk which may require a SIL 2 Safety Instrument Function (SIF) especially if the burners are manually lit by an operator. Designing and modeling this SIF can present challenges where multiple fuel isolation valves are required on multiple burner heaters and where there is limited opportunities to proof test the SIF.

This paper will discuss the challenges of designing and modeling the reliability of multiple burner Cracking Heater burner light-off SIFs and provide an example of how this can be accomplished.

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