An integrated qualitative and quantitative modeling framework for computer‐assisted HAZOP studies

Jing Wu, Laibin Zhang, Jinqiu Hu, Morten Lind, Xinxin Zhang, Sten Bay Jørgensen, Gürkan Sin, Niels Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The article proposes a novel practical framework for computer‐assisted hazard and operability (HAZOP) that integrates qualitative reasoning about system function with quantitative dynamic simulation in order to facilitate detailed specific HAZOP analysis. The practical framework is demonstrated and validated on a case study concerning a three‐phase separation process. The multilevel flow modeling (MFM) methodology is used to represent the plant goals and functions. First, means‐end analysis is used to identify and formulate the intention of the process design in terms of components, functions, objectives, and goals on different abstraction levels. Based on this abstraction, qualitative functional models are constructed for the process. Next MFM‐specified causal rules are extended with systems specific features to enable proper reasoning. Finally, systematic HAZOP analysis is performed to identify safety critical operations, its causes and consequences. The outcome is a qualitative hazard analysis of selected process deviations from normal operations and their consequences as input to a traditional HAZOP table. The list of unacceptable high risk deviations identified by the qualitative HAZOP analysis is used as input for rigorous analysis and evaluation by the quantitative analysis part of the framework. To this end, dynamic first‐principles modeling is used to simulate the system behavior and thereby complement the results of the qualitative analysis part. The practical framework for computer‐assisted HAZOP studies introduced in this article allows the HAZOP team to devote more attention to high consequence hazards. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J 60: 4150–4173, 2014
Original languageEnglish
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)4150-4173
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Hazard analysis
  • Multilevel flow modeling
  • Dynamic simulation
  • Computer‐assisted HAZOP
  • Knowledge‐base


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