La La Pharmaceuticals has recently discovered a new drug, Lalone, in their chemical laboratories. Lalone is expected to be a blockbuster drug, raking in billions of dollars each year. For the next stage of clinical studies, over 50 kg of Lalone is required, and La La Pharmaceuticals has decided to produce this in their existing pilot plant operations in Lala Land. As the safety director for the pilot plant operations, you are in charge of ensuring the safety of all operations.
During a meeting with the chemist who synthesized Lalone in the laboratory, you have learned that following: (1) Lalone is a fine white powder; (2) Lalone is synthesized by a batch process through a series of four major steps – three sets of reactions to produce intermediates, followed by drying to produce Lalone (all reactions are carried out in the liquid phase and require acetone as a solvent); (3) the chemical reactions are not fully understood, and most physical and chemical properties are not known; (4) so far, Lalone has been manufactured only in the laboratory and in small quantities (less than 50 g); (5) management wants the pilot plant operations to be started as soon as possible; and (6) the Engineering Division has already started writing the operating procedures for the eventual process.
As the safety director of the pilot plant:
Based on your safety knowledge and experience, identify the major hazards in this process that you would be concerned about.
Describe how you would structure a hazard study for the Lalone manufacturing process.
What additional information will you need to conduct the hazard analysis study?
Determine the Mean Time Between Failure of the top event (explosion) of the system shown below:
Estimate the charge buildup and accumulated energy as a result of pneumatically conveying a dry powder through a Teflon duct. The powder is collected in an insulated vessel. Repeat the calculation for a transport rate of 50 lb/min and 100 lb/min for transport times of 1 hr. and 5 hr. Discuss ways to improve the safety of this situation.