Expert Details

Expert in Process Engineering, Inorganic Chemicals: Chloralkali, Sulfuric Acid, SO2, and Fertilizers

Expert ID: 722538 Canada

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Expert’s graduate work (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) was in adsorption of gases in molecular sieve zeolites. The work included exhaustive experimentation on equilibrium and kinetics of adsorption and included calculation of adsorption energy from electrostatic and van der Waals forces acting in the sorbed molecule by the surface. As a chemical engineering professional he has experience in the use of activated carbon for contaminants removal and in the use of silica air dryers.

Expert has used the Arrhenius equation for predicting various physical properties as a function of temperature. He has employed it in modeling performance of liquefiers and drying towers in chlorine service. He has also utilized the equation in estimating viscosity as a function of temperature. He has used vapor pressure as a function of temperature to calculate heat of vaporization. He has a publication in which transition state theory is used to estimate experimentally measured Arrhenius constants for the equilibrium Henry's Law parameters in gases adsorbed on molecular sieve zeolites.

Expert has been a chemical engineer for over 30 years since obtaining a Ph.D. He has worked in a research laboratory as research engineer and as research manager. His experience includes production and technical management at two different chemical plants involved in chloralkali, bleach, chlorinated paraffins and solvents, and in carbon disulfide manufacture. As a Research Engineer, he was in charge of pilot plant operation and supervision at chloralkali and fertilizer plants. He has been responsible for customer technical support in a variety of industries, including sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid manufacture. His strengths include process engineering and troubleshooting. He has investigated accidents/incidents involving chemicals for his employer’s operations as well as for customer operations.

Expert has been responsible for design of a variety of chemical processes, including a spent sulfuric acid oxidation process, a number of mercury removal from gas processes, two nitrogen trichloride removal from chlorine gas processes, a process for inerts removal from chlorine and from liquid sulfur dioxide, a variety of emission reduction processes, three calcium chloride manufacturing processes, pilot plant wood chip digesters and a small chloralkali plant. He has been the driving force behind the piloting and full-scale construction of a proprietary sulfur-containing product for use in pulp mills. These projects have spanned preliminary flowsheeting to cost estimating to construction of full-scale plants.

Expert has experience in reaction rate measurement and in modeling rate mechanisms. He has taught a course in chemical kinetics and reactor design. He has performed calculations in packed tower design, including chlorine reaction with caustic soda solution and in sulfuric acid drying tower design. He has compared tubular reactor performance with that of stirred tank and batch reactors.

He has compared tubular reactor performance with that of stirred tank and batch reactors. His patents on particle coating hinge on his description of the reactor system comprising a series of fluidized beds. He played an advisory and troubleshooting role in the design, construction, and commissioning of pilot plants for chlorine dioxide manufacture and for digestion of wood chips to pulp.

Expert is intimately familiar with sulfuric acid manufacture, whether the feedstock is smelter gas, burned sulfur, hydrogen sulfide or spent acid. He has carried out design calculations for catalyst beds in single absorption and double absorption plants as well as oleum absorbers and the limits on oleum strength available as a function of feed gas sulfur dioxide concentration. He has been associated with at least six sulfuric acid manufacturing plants. He has carried out efficiency studies as well as safety reviews of at least four hydrochloric acid manufacturing plants, including the “Union Carbide” and “Carbone Lorraine” designs. He has worked with plants that used chlorine as feedstock as well as a chlorohydrocarbon operation where hydrogen chloride was the feed gas to the absorption system. He has solved process problems on a plant where the acid was losing strength between manufacture and point of sale. He has some familiarity with nitric acid manufacture and has carried out calculations on the relevant reactions involved in nitric acid manufacture.

Expert has worked in chloralkali plants that produce caustic soda and caustic potash. The caustic soda plants have operated with mercury cells (horizontal or vertical decomposers), diaphragm cells and membrane cells. He has devised a computer model of a diaphragm cell triple effect caustic evaporation system. He has worked with use of lime or limestone as neutralizing chemicals in stirred tanks, slurry towers, and limestone beds. He has limited experience with use of ammonia as a sulfur dioxide neutralizing agent.

Expert has a broad background in physical chemistry, both experimental and theoretical. His graduate work on adsorption and diffusion included a large amount of interpretation of data using models for monolayer and bulk filling of sorbent voids with a quasi-liquid phase. This required use of vapor pressure type analysis of data. The diffusion portion of this work utilized Bernoulli’s theorem. Expert’s work on packed tower absorption, drying, and reaction made use of his physical chemistry knowledge. He has modeled sulfuric acid drying towers successfully as well as chlorine liquefiers and the fractional distillation of liquid chlorine and sulfur dioxide for inert gas removal. Expert has modeled evaporation processes and used physical chemistry principles to structure equations for physical properties as a function of temperature and concentration. He has also participated in a large number of accident/incident investigations in which his physical chemistry knowledge was tested and put to excellent use.

Expert has also been intimately involved in spent sulfuric acid treatment for reuse, including alkylation spent, chlorine drying spent and organics manufacturing spent acids.

Expert has participated in a project in which sulfurous acid strength as a function of SO2 vapor concentration and temperature were required as well as design of sulfur dioxide absorption equipment.

Expert has carried out research on chloralkali cells of mercury, diaphragm, and membrane design. He has been technical manager of two plants producing mercury cell caustic soda and potash. He has studied the use of electrolytic cells to produce cerium IV for oxidation of organics.

Expert has studied the physical properties of fuming sulfuric acid, from 5% oleum to 60% oleum. He has participated in projects to beneficiate 20% oleum to 37% or 60% by stripping SO3 from the weaker acid and absorbing it in the stronger acid. He has also studied the feasibility of importing 98% acid to a small sulfur burning plant in order to increase the plant's oleum capacity. Expert notes that the ultimate oleum production rate and concentration are dependent upon the incoming SO2 strength of the feed gas due to SO3 vapor pressure and freezing temperature of oleum.

Expert has worked in chloralkali plants that produce caustic soda and caustic potash. The caustic soda plants have operated with mercury cells (horizontal or vertical decomposers), diaphragm cells, and membrane cells. He has devised a computer model of a diaphragm cell triple effect caustic evaporation system. He has carried out design calculations for caustic evaporation plants. He has studied caustic cooling and salt crystallization as well as corrosion of caustic evaporators.

In addition to his caustic soda and caustic potash work mentioned above, Expert has worked with use of lime or limestone as neutralizing chemicals in stirred tanks, slurry towers and limestone beds. He has limited experience with use of ammonia as a sulfur dioxide neutralizing agent. He has experimented with use of static mixers for neutralizing acid gas vapors with alkaline solutions or slurries.

In 2002 and 2003, Expert carried out process studies on a worst-case chlorine release scenario and hypochlorite scrubbing tower capacity. He led Hazard and Operability Studies on cooling tower operation, "Powell" bleach plant operation, hypochlorite scrubbing tower operation, caustic soda unloading and transfer operation, and on an anthraquinone dispersion facility.He undertook to study the neutralization characteristics of pond water from a phosphogypsum operation, including the study of a variety of bases. Expert is presently leading a process/project engineering job to improve the brine treatment system at a small chloralkali plant.He is presently leading a process/project engineering job to improve the mercury recovery from product caustic soda at a small chloralkali plant. Expert carried out a process design/cost estimate for the construction of a very small on-site chloralkali plant to produce 10 tons per day of chlorine.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1973 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Chemical Engineering Institution: University of New Brunswick
Year: 1971 Degree: M.Sc. Subject: Chemical Engineering Institution: University of New Brunswick
Year: 1973 Degree: B.Sc. Subject: Chemical Engineering Institution: University of New Brunswick

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2002 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Engineer Department: Responsibilities: Expert carries out process investigations, hazard and operability studies, plant design, and cost estimating.
Years: 1997 to 2002 Employer: Pioneer Companies Title: Research Manager Department: Pioneer Technology Centre Responsibilities: He was responsible for all research work carried out for the Company: plant assistance, customer assistance, analytical services, and external contract work. He managed a budget of $4 million and 30 subordinates.
Years: 1990 to 1997 Employer: ICI Canada Inc. Title: Research Group Manager Department: Sheridan Park Research Centre Responsibilities: Expert’s work was similar to that at Pioneer Companies, but had a wider variety.
Years: 1987 to 1990 Employer: C-I-L Inc. Title: Research Group Manager Department: Chemicals Research Laboratory Responsibilities: His work was the same as that at ICI Canada; the name changed from CIL to ICI Canada in 1990.
Years: 1985 to 1987 Employer: C-I-L Inc. Title: Technical Manager Department: Forest Products Business Unit Responsibilities: Expert was technical manager at a large multi-faceted plant. Products there were chloralkali, carbon disulfide, and carbon tetrachloride, and a container packaging operation for inorganics: acids, bases, compressed gases. His work included supervision of four process engineers plus a lab staff of 10.
Years: 1980 to 1985 Employer: C-I-L Inc. Title: Production/Technical Superintendent Department: Industrial Chemicals Division Responsibilities: His position was responsible for the production staff of a small chloralkali plant as well as all technical improvements and environmental activities. He had four staff reports and 25 payroll indirect reports.
Years: 1979 to 1980 Employer: C-I-L Inc. Title: Development Supervisor Department: Industrial Chemicals Division Responsibilities: Expert’s job comprised the study of new ventures for the Company, including reports and recommendations for entering new fields and for plant expansions in existing areas of the Company's business.
Years: 1974 to 1979 Employer: C-I-L Inc. Title: Research Engineer Department: Industrial Chemicals Division Responsibilities: He carried out laboratory studies for improvement of existing processes, for implementation of new processes, environmental studies, pilot plant studies (at the laboratory and on plant sites), commissioning of new processes at operating plants, and paper studies.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2001 to 2001 Country / Region: Venezuela Summary: Expert was contracted by Eltech Corp. (as a PCI Chemicals Canada employee) to carry out a review of the chlorine handling system of the Pequiven El Tablazo chloralkali plant.
Years: 1990 to 1996 Country / Region: U.S. Summary: He was responsible for business dealings with ICI Americas plants, specifically the "Fluon" plant in Bayonne, N.J.
Years: 1996 to 2002 Country / Region: U.S. Summary: Expert assisted operating plants of Pioneer Companies in St. Gabriel, Louisiana; Henderson, Nevada; and Tacoma, Washington.
Years: 2005 to 2005 Country / Region: Brazil Summary: Expert worked as sub-contractor assessing process improvements in Braskem chloralkali plant
Years: 2014 to 2014 Country / Region: Mexico Summary: Expert worked to assess the reliability of the analytical services department procedures at a Pemex (essentially) EDC and VCM plant.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Expert is presently a member of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering as well as the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and Professional Engineers Ontario. He is a past member of PAPTAC, TAPPI, and The Electrochemical Society.
Licenses / Certifications
He is a licensed Professional Engineer and his business has a Certificate of Authorization from PEO.
Professional Appointments
Expert was a member of the Research Committee of PAPTAC. During its existence, he was a member of the executive committee of ICST, a University/Industry/Government consortium which existed in the 1980s and 1990s.
Awards / Recognition
He won the CIL Innovation award twice; once in the Process Category in 1986 while employed at the Cornwall, Ontario Plant and once in the Marketing/Business Development Category in 1988 while a Research Group Manager at the CIL Research Centre.
Publications and Patents Summary
Expert has eleven publications related to his university graduate studies and holds six Canadian and U.S. patents for industrial work.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Expert was deposed in a 1990 case in Corning, N.Y. regarding the details of liquid sulfur dioxide manufacture.
In 2015, Expert worked with an attorney in a workplace injury case where the employer had threatened litigation to end support of the injured party. By Expert's understanding of the actual cause of the original injury, a visit to the site, and through performance of an experimental program a case was made which forced the opponent to settle and provide the injured party continued support.
Training / Seminars
He was a lecturer for the final year reactor design course at Ryerson University during the fall of 1992.
Vendor Selection
As manager of Analytical Services for one of his employers, Expert sought and found specialist suppliers of analytical services. In addition, throughout his career he has sought and found vendors for specialized products.
Marketing Experience
As a research group manager, he has sought and found customers for the group's services inside his own organization as well as in external companies.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
French Expert has studied conversational French from high school to the 1980s. He has lived and worked among unilingual francophones for 12 years of his career. His proficiency is moderate to high in speaking and reading French.

Fields of Expertise

adsorption, Arrhenius equation, chemical engineering, chemical kinetics, chemical process design, chemical reaction engineering, chemical reactor engineering, chemical reactor model, inorganic acid, inorganic base, physical chemistry, sulfuric acid, sulfurous acid, electrochemistry, electrolysis, fuming sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, base (chemical), industrial chemical production, chemical industry, heterogeneous reaction kinetics, inorganic material performance, inorganic material selection, titration, chemical engineering thermodynamics, chemical interaction, inorganic surface, chemical plant operation, hypochlorous acid, adsorbed contaminant, Hazard and Operability study, analytical testing, potassium hydroxide, physiochemical property, physisorption, adsorbate, gas analyzer, reactor mixing, chemical plant start-up, atomic volume, degree of freedom, chemical potential, chemical plant management, chemical manufacturing facility evaluation, boiler feedwater treatment, transmittance, absorptivity, chemical plant layout, chemical plant, chemical property, chemical testing laboratory, chemical element, chemical process analysis, chemical compound absorption, chemical reaction, chemical reactor design, quantitative chemical analysis, chemical plant design, adsorption dynamics, hydrofluoric acid, adsorbent material, unit operation adsorption, chemical reaction mechanism, chemical process, analysis technique, water physical chemistry, trace analysis, thermochemistry, solution chemistry, chemical reduction, chemical reactor control modeling, pulsed-bed sorption, process chemistry, phosphoric acid, metal analytical chemistry, material analysis, inorganic synthesis, inorganic chemistry, hydrochloric acid, defoaming, electromotive force, electric cell, mass transfer, chemical reactor scale-up, chemical reactor, chemical analysis, catalysis, calorimetry, applied inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, adsorption chromatography, acid

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