Julio Ariel Dueñas Santana


PhD in: MERC

Project title: System Dynamics for the Risk Assessment in the Chemical Industry

Supervisor(s): Prof. Almerinda Di Benedetto – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica, dei Materiali e della Produzione Industriale – Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Prof. Ernesto Salzano – Università di Bologna

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  • Risk Assessment in Chemical Industry is mainly performed by implementing techniques which do not consider the effect of dynamic variations of variables, events, and parameters. Furthermore, the interdependencies among events and domino effects are generally neglected. Interdependencies and dynamics are generally quite complex and should be analyzed by using advanced dynamic tools, however keeping into account the specificity of the chemical industry.

    System Dynamics (SD) is a complex technique which allows the development of the feedback loops in a model closer to reality. The main technique adopted in SD is the Causal Loop Diagram (CLD), which constitutes the graphical maps used to represent a simple and immediate causal structure of the reference system. In detail, CLD allows formalizing the causal relationships that link a set of variables belonging to the same system, by identifying the feedback mechanisms active in the system under consideration and their dynamics. In other words, the CLD is a conceptual tool which is useful in the identification and formalization of a dynamic process in which the effects of a single cause are identified and tracked through a series of variables until the same cause of origin.

    In this project, we aim at applying the CLD and SD models to the chemical industry and to the related risks, with a particular focus on H2 production. A test case will be analyzed as the industrial production of hydrogen through methane steam reforming.