An Integrated Approach to the Simultaneous Design and Operation of Industrial Facilities for Abnormal Situation Management Academic Article uri icon


  • Flaring is a common operation in industrial facilities and is usually intended for safety purposes, for disposal of waste gases with low heating values, or for management of abnormal situations. In addition to the economic losses associated with ineffective combustion of off-spec hydrocarbon products, flaring contributes significantly to the emission of greenhouses gases and primary and secondary pollutants. These are critically important economic and environmental issues to the State of Qatar. Traditionally, abnormal situation management has been addressed through responsive operational strategies. In this work, we propose a novel approach to the optimal management of abnormal situation that occur in facilities, based on simultaneous design and operation. First, the process is described as an integrated system with models that relate the various design and operating variables. The result is a mass-integration framework, which quantifies the causes and consequences of plant upsets resulting in flaring as they pertain to the key objectives of the process, such as productivity, environmental sustainability, safety. Based on this holistic understanding of the process, optimal design modifications and operating strategies are derived for plausible scenarios and deviations. As such, flaring resulting from abnormal situations is reconciled with the various process objectives and is proactively contextualized as part of the design and operation of the process. Once base-case scenarios and designs are developed, dynamic simulation models are developed to track process operation and to determine optimal operational strategies. Additionally, energy integration alternatives (e.g., process cogeneration) will be considered for the effective utilization of heat associated with flaring. 2014 Elsevier B.V.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Eljack, F. T., El-Halwagi, M. M., & Xu, Q.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Eljack, Fadwa T||El-Halwagi, Mahmoud M||Xu, Qiang

publication date

  • January 2014