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Published: Kem. Ind. 61 (4) (2012) 205–214
Paper reference number: KUI-14/2011
Paper type: Professional paper
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Nitric Acid Revamp and Upgrading of the Alarm & Protection Safety System at Petrokemija, Croatia

N. Zečević, I. Hoško and S. Pavlaković


Every industrial production, particularly chemical processing, demands special attention in conducting the technological process with regard to the security requirements. For this reason, production processes should be continuously monitored by means of control and alarm safety instrumented systems. In the production of nitric acid at Petrokemija d. d., the original alarm safety system was designed as a combination of an electrical relay safety system and transistorized alarm module system. In order to increase safety requirements and modernize the technological process of nitric acid production, revamping and upgrading of the existing alarm safety system was initiated with a new microprocessor system. The newly derived alarm safety system, Simatic PCS 7, links the function of “classically” distributed control (DCS) and logical systems in a common hardware and software platform with integrated engineering tools and operator interface to meet the minimum safety standards with safety integrity level 2 (SIL2) up to level 3 (SIL3), according to IEC 61508 and IEC 61511. This professional paper demonstrates the methodology of upgrading the logic of the alarm safety system in the production of nitric acid in the form of a logical diagram, which was the basis for a further step in its design and construction. Based on the mentioned logical diagram and defined security requirements, the project was implemented in three phases: analysis and testing, installation of the safety equipment and system, and commissioning. Developed also was a verification system of all safety conditions, which could be applied to other facilities for production of nitric acid. With the revamped and upgraded interlock alarm safety system, a new and improved safety boundary in the production of nitric acid was set, which created the foundation for further improvement of the production process in terms of improved analysis.

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nitric acid production, alarm safety system, revamping