Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Chemical

Undergraduate Course: Process Safety and Environmental Issues in Chemical Engineering 3 (CHEE09019)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn this course, students cover contemporary safety and environmental concerns as they impinge on the practising engineer, the legal and regulatory background to engineering activity, to ensure safe operation of hazardous processes, and the procedures to be followed in seeking a license from the environmental protection agencies for the operation of processes involving prescribed substances. Generation, propagation and the fate of pollutants discharged to the air, to water and to the ground are discussed along with means of mitigating emissions by elimination, substitution and pre-discharge treatment are considered. Methods of identifying process hazards are introduced leading to risk assessment and consequence analysis using hand calculation methods are presented to allow risk assessment and its application to the process industries to be appreciated.
Course description For clarity the two topics are set out separately:

Environmental Issues:
- The national (UK and EU) and international environmental legislative framework
- The importance of public perception and of basic science in informing regulations and engineering practice, and the interplay between all these.
- Basic scientific mechanisms and facts that underpin some of the major environmental issues of our age, as well as what impact if any the process industries may have on these issues and how this impact can be addressed. A point is made that public perception may or may not be based on science and facts, and how important it is for the engineer to be mindful of it in his or her practice.
- Deducing from existing regulations, environmental standards, Best Available Techniques and local state of the environment the required operating performance of chemical plant
- Selecting plant and processes in the light of targets limiting the emissions of acid and greenhouse gases
- Estimating dispersal of gaseous emissions in vents and plumes
- Interpreting terms used in the regulation of aqueous emissions, translating these into limits on discharge rates. Calculate the effect of BOD discharge into waterways and select waste disposal treatments appropriate to effluents and body of water where the discharge is taking place
- Performing basic material balances around biological treatment plants of waste water effluents, as would be required in any permit application; and preliminary selection and sizing of water treatment plants.
- Selecting waste minimisation and recycling strategies as alternatives to, or mitigation of, discharge, dumping and incineration of waste.

Process safety:
- Overview of process safety. Problems of complexity. Principles of Inherent safety. Layers of Protection concept.
- Uk and European Safety Legislation. Historical background. HASAWA, regulations, role of HSC and HSE. European legislative framework.
- The Concept of risk. Definitions of risk and
hazard. Acceptability of risk. Perception of Risk. Quantification of risk. Cost-benefit analysis. Fatal accident rate. ALARP.
- Probability and Frequency for Risk Assessment. Basic probability calculations. Frequency and duration of coincident events.
- Reliability. Definitions. Failure distributions. Reliability with multiple components. Active and passive failure. Trip reliability. Fractional dead time. Multiple channel trip systems.
- Fault Trees. Construction of fault trees. Finding minimum cut sets.
- Event Trees. Construction of event trees. Bow-Tie analysis. Buncefield accident and learning points.
- Hazard Identification. Predictive vs. experience based hazard identification. Checklists and codes of practice. HAZOP methodology. Dow and Mond Indices.
- Occupational Health. Damaging agents. Harmful substances. Assimilation routes. Exposure limits. Toxicology, epidemiology, other methods for establishing exposure limits. COSHH. Exposure control.
- Source terms. Leak rates for liquids and gases. Evaporation rates from spills and jets.
- Fire. Flammability limits, flash point, sources of ignition. Types of fire. Diffusion and pre-mixed flames. Damaging effects. Flame size. Radiation estimation. Boilover. Area Classification.
- Explosions. Types of explosion. Damaging effects. TNT method for overpressure estimation. BLEVE. Dust Explosions.
- Human Error. Human error rates. Types of error. Performance levels. Reducing human error.
- Safety Management Systems. Hazards of operation and maintenance. Permit to work systems. Preparation of plant for maintenance.
- Safety for Design. Specific advice on safety considerations for design projects.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 40, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 149 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written exam: 100%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)Process Safety and Environmental Issues in Chemical Engineering 33:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the basic legal framework for process safety and environmental protection in the UK and elsewhere, and the influence that public opinion can have on this framework;
  2. Express understanding of the scientific underpinnings of current environmental issues and of integrated pollution prevention and control, as well as those of process hazards identification, prevention and control;
  3. Use relevant techniques to estimate the risk resulting from processes and be able to judge acceptability of risk;
  4. Be familiar with safety management method used to control risk in process plant operation, and know how to prevent and control hazards and emissions to comply with regulations;
  5. Appreciate the importance of sound ethical values when dealing with safety and environmental issues in the practice of process engineering, through giving due consideration to all affected stakeholders.
Reading List
1. Process Safety Analysis - an Introduction, Bob Skelton (IChemE, 1997).
2. Major Hazards and their Management, Geoff Wells (IChemE, 1997).
3. Lees' Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 2nd Ed in Library, 3rd Ed available electronically via the Library.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsRIsk Assessment,Environment,Process Safety
Course organiserDr Dimitri Mignard
Course secretaryMr Mark Owenson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5533
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information