Integration of Safety in the Optimization of Transporting Hazardous Materials

Chi Zhang, Chi Nguyen, Fadwa Eljack, Patrick Linke, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The development of fully integrated supply chain networks has drawn much attention due to industrial integration and globalization. Inter-plant transportation of chemicals plays a central role in enabling efficient supply chains and eco-industrial parks. The transported materials often include hazardous material (HazMat) for which safety is a major concern. This paper presents a HazMat transportation model that considers both economic and safety objectives. The study uses historical incident data for HazMat from the U.S Department of Transportation (USDOT) to quantify the transportation risk, and the epsilon-constraint method is then applied to integrate risk into the optimization framework. A case study was conducted for methanol transportation using both highway and railroad. The results of this study illustrate a Pareto optimal curve that shows the trade-off between transportation cost and risk. By solving the optimization problem, the optimum transportation cost at each discretized risk value can be determined, and the two objectives can be correlated for further decision-making. The HazMat transportation model provides a flexible framework to integrate more factors into the traditional transportation or material allocation problem in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-446
Number of pages12
JournalProcess Integration and Optimization for Sustainability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018



  • Hazardous material
  • Material allocation optimization
  • Supply chain network
  • Transportation safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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