Project Synopsis

Perform detailed capacity evaluations for existing pressure relief devices for a batch specialty chemical production facility.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was subcontracted by the client, a major architect/engineering firm, for executing detailed capacity evaluations for existing pressure relief devices for a batch specialty chemical production facility.  Approximately 40 pressure relief devices were evaluated; about 75% of these devices were relief valves, with the balance being rupture disks.

Using information provided by the chemical manufacturing company (mass and energy balances, batch production operating procedures, P&IDs, specialty chemical physical and chemical properties, and existing relief device engineering data), PROCESS first identified all credible pressure relief scenarios.  These included, but were not limited to:

  • Blocked flow
  • Fire
  • Power failure
  • Loss of cooling water
  • Control valve failing open
  • Runaway chemical reaction
  • Heat exchanger tube rupture
  • Misdirected flow
  • Gas blowby

For the relief valves, PROCESS then utilized its proprietary in-house relief valve sizing program to calculate relief requirements, existing relief valve capacities, and new relief valve sizes as applicable.  PROCESS’ commercial process simulation software was used to execute hydraulic evaluations of the existing rupture disk systems as well as to calculate new rupture disk and piping sizes as applicable.  The process simulation software was also used to calculate physical and chemical properties of relieving streams as required as well as to generate any missing mass and energy balance information.

The results of the evaluation were summarized in relief device reports for all devices evaluated.  The reports included a cover page summarizing the results of the study and listing any recommendations, supporting computer program outputs and manual calculations, and lists of any assumptions used during the evaluation. 

Industry Type

  • Batch Specialty Chemical Production

Utilized Skills

  • Relief condition scenario identification
  • Pressure relief valve (PRV) and pressure safety valve (PSV) sizing

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