Title: Development and Validation of the HarsMeth NP Methodology for the Assessment of Chemical Reaction Hazards
Publisher: Universitat Ramon Llull
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC42704
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC42704
Type: PhD Theses
Abstract: The aim of this work is focused on the development, testing and improvement of a methodology for the assessment of thermal hazards of chemical reactions, mainly oriented to be used at small and medium enterprises. The methodology consists on a checklist based system to identify thermal hazards, including tools easy to be followed by non experts in the field of safety. The origins of the development are two already existing tools known as HarsMeth and Check Cards for Runaway. Different approaches have been followed in order to come up with a reliable assessment tool. In the first place, the two mentioned methodologies were tested at different companies working on fine chemical production, which gave the possibility to determine strengths and weaknesses for both methodologies, and to profit from the identified strengths to combine them to create one single tool called HarsMeth version 2. Later, this version was thoroughly tested at two different companies to improve it, by detecting flaws and expanding the checklists in order to cover as many issues as possible in the assessment. Further work performed aimed at the development of tools for the theoretical estimation of reaction enthalpies and for the identification of thermal hazards in process equipment. A final version of the methodology was produced, called HarsMeth New Process, structured to perform the hazard assessment at every step followed in the development of a chemical process, starting from the design of the chemical reaction at the laboratory, followed by the study of stability and compatibility of the reactants involved, the bench scale analysis of the synthesis path chosen, the scale up of the process and the determination of the necessary safety measures for the implementation of the process at industrial scale in accordance with the hazards identified. Another strategy followed in order to improve the methodology has been to analyse the chemical accidents reported to the MARS database in order to establish lessons learned from such accidents, and to identify what topics of the methodology could have helped to prevent the accidents and to emphasize what aspects of chemical safety need to be taken into account by the process industries.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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