June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.781.1 - 23.781.19
Integrating Risk Assessment in the Unit Operations LaboratoryIn light of the practical needs of the Chemical Engineering discipline and the new AIChE/ABETprogram criteria requiring knowledge of process hazards, we are working towards makingprocess safety a mindset by integrating risk assessment in the unit operations lab. We believethat with this early, practical, and direct exposure to risk assessment, students can approachprocess design with increased appreciation for the value of considering process hazards.In our approach, each group in the unit operations course is asked to perform a simplifiedProcess Hazard Analysis (PHA) of a laboratory process before working on the experimentalstand. Our units include small-scale and pilot-scale distillation columns for the separation ofalcohol mixtures, an absorption column involving sodium hydroxide solutions, and an extractioncolumn for the removal of propionic acid from kerosene. Students are required to construct anaccurate flow diagram of each stand, consider general precautionary measures and operatinglimits for the process, perform “what if” analyses, take note of materials of construction andchemical compatibility for equipment components, identify physical properties of materials andtheir key safety data, and provide recommendations and a list of action items for futureconsideration. This is an approach that we expect to successfully address the new requirementsof the AIChE Program Criteria; moreover, we expect that our students will graduate withabilities in process hazards analysis that will be of benefit in the workplace.
Fanelli, M., & Briedis, D., & Miller, D. J., & Hawley, M. C. (2013, June), Integrating Risk Assessment in the Unit Operations Laboratory Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19795
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