October 2000

Special Report: Plant Safety and Reliability

Improve catalyst removal methods

In this case history, efforts to minimize the hazard caused more problems and increased the risks to the task

Schneider, D. F., Stratus Engineering, Inc.

Preventing dangerous actions is something that is equated with being safe. However, taking proper action is definitely a very important aspect of safety. Overly cautious measures can impose, and possibly raise, risks with many operations done in hydrocarbon processing facilities. In this case study, the "pros and cons" for the catalyst change of a C4-selective hydrotreater were evaluated. Judging that an inert entry to remove residual catalyst was dangerous, plant management elected to use other methods. Unfortunately, the selected, cautious safe approach incorporated other risks to the catalyst change. Remember: ca

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