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What Is The First Thing To Do In An Emergency At A Plant?

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#1 naimkauf


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Posted 12 January 2022 - 01:41 PM

Question is in the title as I phrased. When an emergency happens in a plant and the entire process needs to be stopped immediately, what is the first equipment to shut down? I'm asking cuz I've never really had  experience in the field. 

#2 Pilesar


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Posted 12 January 2022 - 02:26 PM

Shutting down a plant depends on the process. The safe equipment state needs to be evaluated. An emergency stop may be as simple as 1) operator presses big red button 2) computer controls put the process into the desired condition. Uncontrolled shutdowns can happen. 'The plant lost all electric power.' 'The plant lost all instrument air.' 'The plant lost all cooling utility.' These are all hazards that need to be planned in advance with safeguards. Sometimes emergency stops cause physical damage to the process that cannot be easily avoided. This happens in fired furnaces where too little process flow allows equipment to overheat. Process liquids can become solids with loss of heating utility so that they no longer flow. Reactive materials require a lot of planning to avoid runaway reactions in an emergency. Each process is different.

#3 latexman


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Posted 12 January 2022 - 03:31 PM

#1.  Follow the Emergency Plan (see Pillesar's post above).

#4 breizh


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Posted 12 January 2022 - 09:28 PM


This is a tough one ! I don't know your role in the organization , you should talk with the operation guys .

Normally you have an emergency procedure in a plant where the situation has been anticipated (analyzed} based on your process and actions to perform : lack of power, lack of utility , Control system down , fire case , spillage of hazardous chemicals ,....


For sure you have an emergency red push button in the control room , check with the team what will happen , take a look at emergency matrix .



#5 Pilesar


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Posted 13 January 2022 - 05:54 AM

If you are a chemical engineering student, your interest in the question is commendable. Analyzing 'what would happen if a specific event were to occur' is such an important role where chemical engineers really add value. It is very difficult for a single chemical engineer to consider all scenarios and provide adequate protections. Even a new engineer asking questions can sometimes uncover important details that were overlooked by experienced engineers. You do not learn everything in school and you do not learn everything on the job -- you just learn a little more each day and try to put your knowledge and experience to good use.

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