Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Claire Palmer


Computer Aided Hazard Identification of Batch Operations (CONFIDENTIAL)

Project Title

Computer-aided Hazard Identification of Batch Operations




Professor Paul Chung
Dr Iain Cumming

Dr S A McCoy
Mr J Madden

Director of Research:
Professor Stephen Ison

Research Period

2004 - 2008

Computer-aided Hazard Identification of Batch Operations


Hazard identification is a critical task that needs to be carried out for safe process design and operation. HAZOP studies are widely used for identifying hazard and operability problems. However, HAZOP studies are time consuming, labour intensive and expensive. Automated HAZOP identification systems that emulate the HAZOP technique have been developed to overcome this bottleneck. Much of the research on automated HAZOP identification, based on signed-directed graphs, has concentrated on continuous plants. However, this technique is inappropriate for batch processes. The HAZOP of continuous plants focuses on deviation from steady state operations, whereas the HAZOP of batch plants focuses on deviation from a specified set of operating procedures. The signed-directed graph approach used in continuous plant HAZOP emulators is found to be unsuitable for batch plants. The main problem is that it does not keep state related information as the HAZOP analysis moves from one operating instruction to the next.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the project is to develop an automated hazard identification tool for batch plants.

Method and Current Status

Preliminary research at Loughborough University has demonstrated the feasibility of applying stated-based qualitative simulation in this domain. Object-oriented technologies are used to simulate state changes. The project will build on the current prototype system, called CHECKOP.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

The current version of CHECKOP has demonstrated proof of concept for modeling operating procedures and their effect on a simple batch process. Further research will consider:

  • Creating an action model representation that covers a wide range of operations and the ability for grouping sets of operations
  • Developing models for different plant components
  • A wider range of HAZOP guidewords
  • The modeling of process fluids, their interactions and reactions and linking the results with consequence modelling

Palmer, C. And Chung, P.W.H. (2009). An automated system for batch hazard and operability studies. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 94 (6), pp. 1095-1106.

Chung, P.W.H., Palmer, C. And Liu W. (2008). A VR System To Enable the Capture and Verification Of Operating Instructions, ESCAPE 18, Lyons, 1 - 4 June.

Palmer, C. and Chung, P.W.H. (2008). A Computer Tool for Batch Hazard and Operability Studies, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Vol. 21(5), pp. 537-542.

Palmer, C. … et al. (2007). Object Oriented Modelling of Batch Plant for HAZOP Analysis, Proceedings of the 17th Advances in Risk and Reliability Technology Symposium (ARTS), pp 180–191, Loughborough University, 17 - 19 April.

Palmer, C. … et al. (2006). A Formal Method of Communicating Operating Procedures, IChemE Symposium Series 151, pp 448-457, HAZARDS XIX, Manchester, U.K., 27 - 30 March.

Palmer, C., Chung, P.W.H. And Zhou, D.F. (2005). Automated identification of hazardous scenarios due to human errors in batch plant operation, 7th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, Glasgow, 10 - 14 July.



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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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