Here is a collection of thoughts on running a chemical plant, listed in no particular order.

  • Always have some extra production capacity. Don’t be tempted to book every hour of plant time with processes.
  • It’s easier to get purchase orders than you think. Corollary: It is easier to overbook a plant than you think.
  • Hire the smartest, hardest working people you can afford. 
  • Never do R&D in the plant. Consider using laboratories for that.
  • You will eventually have an incident or an accident. Make sure the HAZWOPER people drill every now and then.
  • Beware the rag layer. It will confuse the operators.
  • Hot filter cakes can ruin your whole day.
  • Somebody sit and think about how failures might be expected to propagate during an incident.
  • Don’t be an asshole.
  • Watch out for reactions with initiation lag times. They’ll getcha.  Stored energy is scary.
  • Try to get the supplier to send dry, clean solvents. Purifying solvents is always a money losing operation.  The same is true for all starting materials.
  • To the greatest extent possible, try to move solutions around rather than solids. Solids handling is always more difficult.
  • Think about where that butyllithium solution is going to go if there is a spill.
  • Try to decide early on how you would like the next disaster to unfold. This is true for all hazardous operations- plant operations, highway driving, or marriage.

I’m sure there are many more good suggestions from Bloggerspace.

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