(248ab) Safety Evaluation of Shale Gas Monetization Processes

Ortiz-Espinoza, A. P., Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya
Jiménez-Gutiérrez, A., Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya
Exploitation of shale gas has increased in the past few years, raising the interest in developing and analyzing chemical production technologies that use shale/natural gas as feedstock. Different processes have been analyzed and compared from technical, economic and environmental aspects, among them those to produce ethylene and methanol. Another aspect of primary importance to rank technologies is that related to safety. This has encouraged the search for practical methods to quantify the inherent safety levels of different processes at early design stages. Indexes such as the Fire Damage and Explosion Index and the Process Stream Index are used to rank the inherent safety levels of a process using data obtained at a preliminary design stage. In this work the analysis of different processes for the production of ethylene and methanol from shale gas is presented. The results obtained from the selected indexes are used to compare the processes from a safety point of view. These efforts represent a first approach towards the development of a global index that could account for safety as applied to a complete process flowsheet from the conceptual step of a design project.