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Safety and sustanability drivers for process design and optimization of supply chains

KEYWORDS: sustainability assessment, inherent safety, process & plant design, key performance indicators, environmental impact

The main determinants of the impact and safety of process plants are defined in the design stage, in particular in the early phases where a higher number of degrees of freedom is present. Furthermore, the production of goods causes impacts that extend beyond the actual production facility and involve up-stream and downstream processes: a holistic perspective is required in the technological optimization of such life-cycle.

The research activity on this topic focused on the development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), applicable as sustainability drivers in the design activities and in the supply chain optimization. The use of quantitative indicators provides auditable support in design choices and allows for selection of the production and treatment technologies which more effectively reduce environmental burdens, maximize yields and minimize costs.

The main outcomes of the research activity included:

  1. Tools for the identification of sustainability KPIs through a structured approach accounting for the specific factors and constraints of design activities (e.g. limited availability of data). System analysis ranged from Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to detailed process simulation. Experimental activity supported the collection of relevant performance data for emerging processes (e.g. biomass densification).
  2. Advanced approaches for the interpretation, normalization and aggregation of indicators. The use of site-specific factors introduces a sound reference for the interpretation of the indicator values.
  3. Indicators for inherent safety assessment. The methodology was developed to provide both a flexible procedure for the identification of the hazards, and a sound consequence-based quantification of the safety performance of a process scheme.
  4. Specific optimization studies. Examples of studies include: alternative fuel supply chains based on biomass, production of bulk and fine chemicals, envisaged hydrogen chain for automotive applications, hazardous wastes.

Main Publications

Tugnoli A., Landucci G., Salzano E., Cozzani V. (2012). Supporting the selection of process and plant design options by Inherent Safety KPIs. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. Vol. 25 (5), pp. 830 – 842.

Cordella M., Torri C., Adamiano A., Fabbri D., Barontini F. & Cozzani V. (2012). Bio-oils from biomass slow pyrolysis: a chemical and toxicological screening. Journal of Hazardous Materials. vol. 231-232, pp. 26 - 35.

Tugnoli A., Santarelli F. & Cozzani V. (2011). Implementation of Sustainability Drivers in the Design of Industrial Chemical Processes” AIChE Journal, 57 (11), Vol. 57 (11), pp. 3063–3084.

Righi S., Morfino A., Galletti P., Samorì C., Tugnoli A. & Stramigioli C. (2011). Comparative cradle-to-gate life cycle assessments of cellulose dissolution with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride and N-methyl-morpholine-N-oxide, Green Chemistry, 13, pp. 367-375.

Landucci G., Tugnoli A. & Cozzani V. (2010). Safety assessment of envisaged systems for automotive hydrogen supply and utilisation, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp. 1493-505.

Cozzani V., Tugnoli A. & Salzano E. (2009). The Development of an Inherent Safety Approach to the Prevention of Domino Accidents, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Vol. 41 (6), pp. 1216-1227.

Cordella M., Tugnoli A., Barontini F., Spadoni G. & Cozzani V. (2009). Inherent Safety of Substances: Identification of accidental scenarios due to decomposition products, J. Loss Prev. Proc. Ind., Vol. 22 (4), pp. 455-462.

Tugnoli A., Khan F., Amyotte P. & Cozzani V. (2008). Safety Assessment in Plant Layout Design using Indexing Approach: Implementing Inherent Safety Perspective; Part 1 & Part 2, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 160 (1), pp. 100–121.

Tugnoli A., Santarelli F. & Cozzani V. (2008). An Approach to Quantitative Sustainability Assessment in Early stages of Process Design, Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 42(12), pp. 4555-4562.

Tugnoli A., Landucci G. & Cozzani V. (2008). Sustainability Assessment of Schemes for Hydrogen Production by Steam Reforming, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 33 (16), pp. 4345-4357.

Tugnoli A., Khan F. & Amyotte P. (2008). Inherent Safety Implementation Throughout the Process Design Lifecycle, Book of abstracts of PSAM9, 18-23 May; Hong Kong, pp. 24 (paper on attached CD).

Cordella M., Tugnoli A., Spadoni G., Santarelli F. & Zangrando T. (2008). LCA of an Italian Lager beer, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 13 (2), pp. 133-139.

Tugnoli A., Cozzani V. & Landucci G. (2007). A Consequence Based Approach to the Quantitative Assessment of Inherent Safety, AIChE Journal, Vol. 53 (12), pp. 3171-3182.

Cozzani V., Tugnoli A. & Salzano E. (2007). Prevention of domino effect: From active and passive strategies to inherently safer design, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 139 (2), pp. 209-219.

Research Projects

Sviluppo di un approccio integrato alla valutazione della sostenibilità della sicurezza e dell’impatto ambientale di materiali contenenti ritardanti di fiamma bromurati. MIUR, Progetto di Ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale, PRIN. Unità di Ricerca. (2004-05).

Indicatori di prestazione nella progettazione di processo. MIUR, Progetto di Ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale, PRIN. Unità di Ricerca. (2007-08).

iNTeg-Risk - Early Recognition, Monitoring, and Integrated Management of Emerging, New Technology related, Risks. European Commission, 7th Framework Programme - Nanoscience, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies. Large scale integrating project (63 partners), (2008-2013).