(115c) Pilot Plant Best Practices for Safer Design and Operation | AIChE

(115c) Pilot Plant Best Practices for Safer Design and Operation


Gupte, K. - Presenter, BP Refining & Logistics Technology

BP Refining & Logistics Technology group has successfully designed, commissioned and operated numerous pilot plants in support of refining processes over the last few years. However, many of the practices adopted by the team for safe and reliable operation have been learned over more than 20 years of pilot plant experience at Naperville site. Of course, over the years the management practices have evolved with newer methodologies. In addition to the old and reliable “Process Safety Review (PSR)” process, the newer “Management of Change (MOC)” procedures have been implemented to further strengthen the safe operations. An “Inherently Safer Design” is at the heart of a new pilot plant during the conceptual design phase.  The importance of “Design Phase” can not be over emphasized from the cost perspective to eliminate any cost overruns due to changes that may be needed to correct undersized or wrong equipment. This presentation will also highlight the challenges of designing and operating small scale equipment that are needed at the pilot plant scale. The pilot plant designers, operators & engineers need to appreciate the differences between pilot plant and commercial scale in order to fine tune the standard practices for safer design and operation. The attention to “Operating within the Design Envelope” while utilizing Task Hazard Risk Evaluations and Mitigations is important for safe operation with zero incidents. All these aspects are an integral part of the overarching Operations Management System. The safe practices developed are applicable to all types of equipment including small-scale catalyst screening reactors, small-medium autoclave reactors, distillation apparatus, and large pilot plant and demonstration reactors handling a broad range of hydrocarbon feedstocks.