This work presents a risk analysis of a plant that uses supercritical fluid extraction technology with carbon dioxide as a solvent to obtain bioproducts from microalgae.
Given the high pressure at which it operates, the extraction plant called "Luwar" could be affected by dangerous events, such as the gas release in concentrations that are harmful to human health. In order to limit the damage, the risk analysis is of primary importance.
The gas release could occur following the breakage of a pipe, which was the scenario being considered. It was analyzed using the commercial software "Phast & Safeti", an alternative tool to the methods traditionally used in the literature in hazard events of this type, such as the Threshold Limit Value-Time Weighted Average (TLV-TWA) and the Threshold Limit Value-Short Term Exposure Limit (TLV-STEL), that are defined on the basis of the characteristics of the substance dispersed in the air.
Since the pressure of the extraction vessel is the highest in the system, the risk analysis was carried out on the breakage of a pipe coming out of the extractor. The results obtained made it possible to identify the risk parameters on the basis of which to make the best choices in terms of safety to cope with the type of hazard analyzed.