Safety Engineering at Pilot Plant Stage

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


The amounts of chemicals handled in a pilot plant can entail significant hazards to the operator. This is particularly true, if the hold-up volume of the reactor is large or some components are highly reactive. In this respect, continuously-operated reactors offer tremendous benefits over batch reactors by effectively containing and reducing the amount of hazardous inventory. Despite these advantages, there are still challenges in scaling extremely hazardous continuous processes to the pilot plant. The objective of this project is to develop novel concepts and tools for running such hazardous continuous processes in pilot plants, in a way that affords efficient safety assessment, and enabling safe operation of the pilot plant at a reasonable cost.
A combination of experimental and computational methods will be employed to realise the objective. Firstly a novel reactor will be designed (and constructed) to allow the collection of high resolution thermodynamic and kinetic data from highly energetic reactions, something is currently extremely difficult (due to safety concerns), if not impossible to do under reaction conditions using currently available commercial equipment. This system will then be used to investigate several case studies involving energetic reaction species. Alongside this experimental work, computational tools will be developed to assist with the rapid safety assessment of continuous processes involving energetic species. The data obtained from the experiments will be used to inform and validate the computational modelling tools.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023232/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2282172 Studentship EP/S023232/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Filip Horvath-Gerber