- Catalyst development, (metal oxides, mixed oxides, reduced metals, zeolites, etc.), catalyst characterization and testing.
- Troubleshooting plant production issues in catalytic processes such as inadequate activation and premature catalyst deactivation.
- Every aspect of chemical production such as chemical process development, process implementation, process scale-up, plant data monitoring.
- Chemical engineering and data and analysis to identify opportunities for increasing productivity and product quality, and plant production support during trials and scale-ups.
- Unique distillation laboratory design experience.
Independent Consultant, 2009 - Present
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, PA, Principal Development Engineer, 2005 - 2009
- Identified scope and methods to reduce production costs and also improve reliability for global ethyl amine plants.
- Identified ways to eliminate or reduce catalyst deactivation and reverse some of the deactivation, thereby decreasing catalyst cost in amino propyl diethanol amine (APDEA) production.
- Identified scope for increasing process yields and hence reduce costs for producing tertiary amine catalysts (TEDA).
- Demonstrated TEDA viability through laboratory experiments and cost analysis.
- Identified 2 catalyst deactivation mechanisms in APDEA process and eliminated one and reversed the other in order to get multiple catalyst use, resulting in potential annual cost savings near $1 million.
- Initiated and led the effort to create a database to document production history at a production site acquired by Air Products.
- Successfully implemented solutions which maximized output by analyzing process data and identifying similar reactors behaving very differently.
- Recommended proven process changes to purify raw material to improve catalyst life as well as process reliability.
- Identified relationship between impurities in lower cost ethanol and catalyst life for ethyl amines plants.
- Analyzed historical plant data and laboratory studies encompassing 20-25 years of TEDA production and research to understand what process changes are most likely to improve product yield.
- Evaluated and validated the recommendations in the laboratory.
Sunoco, Inc., Marcus Hook, PA, 1995 - 2002
Process Development Engineer, 1998 - 2002
- Identified scopes for improving existing phenol process technology licensed jointly by Sunoco and UOP with primary focus on distillation.
- Evaluated commercial benefit of proposed improvements using a combination of bench scale experiments, pilot scale engineering studies, process modeling and in-plant testing and identified avenues to increase reliability and reduce cost of all chemicals' operations.
- Identified relationship between lower feed temperature and levels of acetol in product phenol resulting in a purer phenol product.
- Designed and directed multi-craft group in building of "state of the art" pilot distillation laboratory utilized to facilitate research and development projects supporting newly acquired 100 million pound/year phenol plant.
- Developed a monitoring routine in ASPEN data acquisition system for all heat exchangers in the cumene plant.
- Enabled operators to detect heat exchanger fouling at an early stage and hence avoid sudden disruption in operation.
- Enabled Marcus Hook refinery to reduce the cost of Udex unit's extractor acid wash by approximately $100,000 annually by conducting laboratory analysis of the extractor deposit.
- Completed study to determine vapor pressure of mineral spirits enabling compliance with a pending EPA regulation.
- Developed effective working relationships with plant operations staff which allowed access to otherwise inaccessible data on phenol plant operations.
Research Engineer, 1995 - 1998
- Developed heterogeneous catalyst analogs of Sunoco's patented homogeneous catalyst system.
- Provided physical and chemical characterizations of catalysts to identify key properties governing catalyst activity and selectivity.
- Screened catalysts using gas phase plug flow reactors with on-line analysis.
- Performed reactor data analysis by incorporating lotus macros for detailed calculation of conversion, selectivity, yield, turnover number and generated data summary table.
- Performed preliminary engineering economic calculations for determining process viability and profitability.
- Invented a novel technique to synthesize stable supported polyoxometallate catalysts and received a patent.
- Identified pore structure to be a major determinant in catalyst activity and selectivity and invented methods to optimize that.
- Successfully troubleshot a major reactor and catalyst.
Honors & Publications
- Six-Sigma certification
Academic and Professional Affiliations
- North American Catalysis Society
- Philadelphia Catalysis Club
Publications and Patents
- 5 publications
- 8 presentations
- 7 patents
- Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, The University of Akron, OH
- M.S. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, India
- B.S. Chemical Engineering, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India