The chemical industry is one of largest industries in the United States and a vital contributor to the global chemical supply chains. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate have tasked Sandia National Laboratories* (Sandia) with developing an analytical capability to assess interdependencies and complexities of the nation’s critical infrastructures on and with the chemical sector. This work is being performed to expand the infrastructure analytical capabilities of the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC). To address this need, Sandia has focused on development of an agent-based methodology towards simulating the chemical supply chain and determining economic impacts resulting from large-scale disruptions to the chemical sector.
Modeling chemical supply chain is unique because the flow of goods of services are guided by process thermodynamics and reaction kinetics. Sandia has integrated an agent-based microeconomic simulation tool N-ABLETM to various chemical industry datasets to abstract the chemical supply chain behavior. An enterprise design within N-ABLETM consists of a collection of firms within a supply chain network; each firm interacts with others through chemical reactions, markets, and physical infrastructure. The supply and demand within each simulated network must be consistent with respect to mass balances of every chemical within the network. Production decisions at every time step are a set of constrained LP solutions that minimize the difference between desired and actual outputs.
We illustrate the methodology with examples of modeled petrochemical supply chains under a hurricane event. The supply chain impacts of upstream and downstream chemicals associated with organic intermediates after a short-term shutdown in the affected area are discussed.
*Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.