Process Commissioning

A protocol for expanding a process from R&D to plant of any scale has been devised. The protocol is based on Regulations, Literature, Best Practice and many years of experience.
It assumes the following steps have already been carried out:-

  • Product Specification has been agreed
  • Safety Data Sheet has been written
  • Sales people are supportive.
  • The Next Step is to complete the Exothermic Reaction Design Document and this will provide the information to give a project cost estimate of +/-10%.

    The Purpose Of Completing This Document

    Experience has shown that failure to appreciate process chemistry under abnormal conditions can result in unexpected hazardous or dangerous situations arising from process malfunctions.

    Processes are designed to operate safely within set limits involving temperatures, pressures, pH, quantities etc. However, it can never be guaranteed with absolute certainty that there will not be excursions outside these limits through some form of process malfunction.

    Therefore it is necessary to have knowledge of what may happen if for some reason process conditions become abnormal. Only then can suitable safeguards be provided to mitigate the hazardous consequences of a process malfunction should a process malfunction occur.

    The purpose of this Exothermic Reaction Design Document is to give guidance on the questions which experience has show need to be answered before a process can be designed safely. This document is concerned only with safety. It also states the safeguards which must be provided if hazards are believed to exist.

    Part 1 of the exothermic reaction design document should normally be completed by R & D Technical staff. In answering the questions the process equipment that will be used ultimately should be born in mind. The highest temperature that can be reached for example might be dependent on the steam pressure to a coil. The lowest temperature might be the brine temperature. Thinking around the questions is important. How far to go with this, should be discussed with the Departmental Head or Section Leader. If necessary fill one form out for each endothermic c and or gas evolving step.

    Part 2 is for use by the Process and Engineering Departments to build on the information gathered in Part 1.

    Part 3 again is for the Process and Engineering Departments. It is intended for use for processes involving the distillation of solvents (highly flammable liquids).