Final Report: New Methods for Assessment of Pollution Prevention Technologies: Integration of Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and Petri Net Modeling

EPA Grant Number: R828541
Title: New Methods for Assessment of Pollution Prevention Technologies: Integration of Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and Petri Net Modeling
Investigators: He, David , Olson, Walter
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago , University of Toledo
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 21, 2000 through August 20, 2003 (Extended to September 30, 2004)
Project Amount: $250,000
RFA: Technology for a Sustainable Environment (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development


Traditionally, the understanding of environmental sustainability has been examined by studying products and processes that implicitly assume that the systems concerned are functioning at day-to-day, stable, and operational levels. Often, a failure can create an environmental impact significantly greater than could ever be imaged by attempts to perform impact assessment based on normal operating conditions. The objective of this research project was to develop new methods to estimate and predict the system failures that could cause impacts on the environment. Our key research approach was to build these methods based on current technologies, such as life cycle analysis (LCA), failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), and Petri net modeling.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

The research project has been carried out by principal investigators from two different universities, Dr. David He at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) and Dr. Walter Olson at The University of Toledo (UT). The research included the development of the following:

  • A novel methodology based on counters of Petri net models for sequential failure analysis of complex systems
  • Hardware based implementation approach of sequential failure analysis using maps of Petri net structures into the circuits-based hardware
  • An impact analysis methodology for design of products and processes for reliability and quality by integrating FMEA and Petri net analysis. The methodology combines the structural and qualitative analysis of FMEA techniques with dynamic and qualitative analysis of Petri net modeling approach and is able to analyze multiple failure effects and their impacts on reliability and quality of product and process design
  • An integrated methodology for assessment of pollution prevention technologies. The failure modes identified by FMEA within the framework of life cycle analysis are mapped into a Petri net model where quantitative effect analysis of combined failure modes and their critical sequences are performed. The results of the quantitative analysis generated by the Petri net model is converted into a Markov decisionmaking process to quantitatively predict the impact of failures on the environment and optimize the decisionmaking in preventing pollution at the source.


New methods have been developed in this research project to estimate and predict the failures of systems that cause impacts on the environment. These new methods have been tested through industrial examples to demonstrate their effectiveness. The research results have been published in professional journals.

Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 8 publications 3 publications in selected types All 3 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Adamyan A, He D. Analysis of sequential failures for assessment of reliability and safety of manufacturing systems. Reliability Engineering and Systems Safety 2002;76(3):227-236. R828541 (2001)
R828541 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Adamyan A, He D. Sequential failure analysis using counters of Petri net models. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics–Part A: Systems and Humans 2003;33(1):1-11. R828541 (2001)
R828541 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Adamyan A, He D. System failure analysis through counters of Petri net models. Quality and Reliability Engineering International 2004;20(4):317-335. R828541 (2001)
R828541 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

failure analysis, Petri nets, sequential failures, reliability design, environmental sustainability, environmental impact, current technologies, novel methodologies, life cycle, quantitative analysis,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Environmental Chemistry, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, Petri Net Modeling, life cycle analysis, industrial case studies, cleaner production, environmentally conscious manufacturing, sustainable development, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, technology assessment, innovative technology, life cycle assessment, impact assessment, industrial innovations

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004