84195 - Process Safety Engineering M

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Sarah Bonvicini

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ING-IND/25

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Chemical and Process Engineering (cod. 8896)


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After the course students will be able to assess the risks due to industrial installations (i.e. chemical and process industries), through the application of basic concepts about: classification of hazardous substances, hazard identification, probabilistic assessment of top events and consequence assessment.

Course contents

1) Introduction to loss prevention and risk analysis.

Risk and risk assessment. Individual risk and societal risk. The risk assessment procedure. Risk acceptability criteria. Risk mitigation. Introduction to relevant regulation.

Basic notions of safety, hazard and risk. Risk reduction strategies. Inherent safety.

2) Hazardous properties of substances

Introduction to the hazardous properties of materials. Flammability. Toxicity. The GHS classification system. The material safety data sheet. Labelling.

3) Hazard identification

Introduction to hazard identification. Historical analysis. Safety review. Checklists. What-if analysis. HazOp analysis. FMEA / FMECA.

4) Consequence and damage assessment

Source terms models (liquid, gas, mixed-phase release). Models for radiative effects from fire scenarios (pool fire, jet-fire, fireball). Dispersion models for neutral and heavy gases: modelling toxic and/or flammable clouds. Models for overpressure effects from explosions (physical explosions and BLEVEs, vapor cloud explosions). Post-release event trees. Damage models for heat radiation, overpressure and toxic exposure (threshold and probit approach). Introduction to consequence assessment software.

5) Frequency evaluation and reliability engineering

Basic notions about probabilities and frequencies. Generic frequencies for loss of containment. Random events and parts count. The analysis of complex systems by means of fault trees. Introduction to reliability engineering. Non-repairable components. Repairable components. Reliability of systems. Reliability databases.


Reference books:

  • Lees' Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, S. Mannan editor, IV ed., Butterworth-Heineman, Oxford, UK, 2012
  • R.Rota, G. Nano, Introduzione alla affidabilità e sicurezza nell'industria di processo, Pitagora Ed., Bologna, I, 2007
  • D.A.Crowl, J.F.Louvar, Chemical process safety: fundamentals with applications, III ed., Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA, 2011
  • Centre for Chemical Process Safety of AIChE, Guidelines for chemical process quantitative risk analysis (II ed.), New York, USA, 1999
  • Center for Chemical Process Safety of AIChE, Guidelines for hazard evaluation procedures (III ed.), AIChE, New York, USA, 2008
  • TNO, Methods for the calculation of physical effects (Yellow book). Report CPR 14E (III ed.), The Hague, NL, 2005
  • H. Kumamoto, E. Henley, Probabilistic Risk Assessment and Management for Engineers and Scientists, 2nd edition, IEEE Press, New York, 2000

You can find all these books (in some cases in one of the previous editions) at the Library F.P.Foraboschi in via Terracini 28; for information about the availability of the books, please contact the librarian (Annalisa Neri, annalisa.neri@unibo.it)

Teaching methods

- Notes taken personally during the classes

- Material available on the e-learning platform of University of Bologna (Virtuale) (the access is limited to the students of the mailing list of the course, a.y. 2021/2022):

copy of the dias used during the lessons

supplementary readings

audio / video files on specific topics

The teacher will NOT make available the video recordings of the classes. The warm reccomandation to students is to directly follow all the lessons, at the best in presence, if possible.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of 2 parts, A1 and A2.

  • students without the elective course Laboratory of Industrial Safety in their study plan will have to take both part A1 and part A2.
  • students who have selected the elective course Laboratory of Industrial Safety (prof. A. Tugnoli) in their study plan have 2 options:

- perform additional tasks within the project required in the Laboratory of Industrial Safety course (according to prof. Tugnoli requests) and take only part A1

- take both parts A1 and A2

A bonus (+1) will be awarded to students completing all the homework assigned during the course.

Teaching tools

  • Lessons performed with the aid of power point presentations
  • Viewing of videos
  • Numerical exercises
  • Homework

Office hours

See the website of Sarah Bonvicini