Volatile organic compound control in an underground experimental facility: Technical and safety issues



In this paper the problem of volatile organic compounds control in the Gran Sasso nuclear physics underground experimental laboratory, Italy, is addressed. In particular the design and risk assessment of a carbon adsorption unit with stream recirculation for the removal of pseudocumene vapors in a nitrogen stream are discussed after a complete process characterization. The plant represents an unconventional installation in terms of required operational flexibility, materials compatibility, and safety level. The adopted technical solutions are described and the results of a Hazard Operability analysis are presented in order to identify design modifications which may contribute to further increasing system safety. © 2004 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog 23: 37–46, 2004