Cellulosic Water Soluble Polymers Expert

Technical Consultant #1769


Expertise

  • Process scale-up, new product commercialization innovation and optimization.
  • Chemical engineer specialized experience in the processing of hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC).
  • Particular processing of cationic and hydrophobic derivatives of HEC and functional aluminum phosphate pigments.
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt adept at leading cross-functional project teams to increase production capacity, improve product quality and reduce capital and operating costs.
  • Pilot plant design, construction, start-up, and management.

Aluminum Phosphate Pigment Processing

  • Processing of functional pigments based on aluminum phosphate.
  • Developed and proved a process at intermediate scale for anti-corrosion and anti-microbial pigments incorporating silver and other metals as active ingredients in a mixed crystalline and amorphous aluminum phosphate matrix as process research and development leader for Bunge Amorphic Solutions, LLC.

Water-Soluble Cellulosic Polymer Processing

  • Processing of hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) and cationic and hydrophobic derivatives of HEC.
  • Developed and implemented new drying and separation technologies for two new cationic HEC production facilities as research and development team member for Union Carbide.
  • Developed, scaled-up, and commercialized over ten new cellulosic, water-soluble polymers used in personal care formulations marketed by major consumer products manufacturers including Procter and Gamble, L'Oreal, Unilever, and Johnson and Johnson working closely with product and applications research and development in a process research and development role for Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.

Unit Operations for Production of Particulate Solids

  • Heterogeneous polymer reactions: stirred tank slurry, plowshare paste.
  • Liquid and solid separations: centrifugation, pressure filtration, extraction of impurities.
  • Drying technologies: atmospheric tray, vacuum plowshare, flash/heated impact mill, spray, and spin-flash drying.
  • Particle size control: Screening, milling, agglomeration via roller compaction, and high-shear mixing.

Experience

Independent Contractor, Present

  • Providing support to industries and clients in water-soluble cellulosic polymer processing, aluminum phosphate functional pigment technology and drying of granular solid particles.

Bunge Amorphic Solutions, LLC, Somerset, NJ, Process R&D Leader, 2011 - 2018

Pilot Plant Manager

  • Scale-up, development, and commercialization of functional pigments for the coatings industry.
  • Developed and proved a process at intermediate scale for anti-corrosion and anti-microbial pigments incorporating silver and other metals as active ingredients in a mixed crystalline and amorphous aluminum phosphate matrix.
  • Defined a commercial process for production of anti-corrosion pigment including slurry reaction, filtration, washing, neutralization, drying, and milling operations.
  • Demonstrated process in pilot plant for potential business partner and provided large samples of anti-corrosion product for application testing in coatings formulations.
  • Consulted on design and equipment procurement and managed installation and startup of Somerset pilot plant including stirred tank reactors from 20 to 2500 liters, Larox and JWI pressure filters, tray oven and GEA Niro spray dryers, Netzsch wet mill, and utilities.
  • Managed day-to-day operations, routine maintenance, process improvement, and new process development in Somerset pilot plant and quality control laboratory.

Dow Chemical Company, Scientist, 2001 - 2010

  • Lead Engineer and Scientist and Six Sigma Black Belt Project Leader for new product/process research and development, product/process improvement, and technical service for global water soluble polymers business supporting operations in Europe, China, and U.S., specializing in personal care, food, and pharmaceutical applications.
  • Invented breakthrough drying technology for cationic cellulosic polymers near their glass transition temperature generating 33% more capacity by retro-fitting existing production trains at 50% less capital than required for a new train.
  • Commercialized 3 new patented product families with sales exceeding 1.5 million per year.
  • Led process scale-up team in lab, pilot, and production-scale trials prior to market introduction of these next generation cationic cellulosic products for personal care applications.
  • Led Six Sigma team to generate $3 million per year of value by expanding U.S. and China plant capacity of 25% by de-bottlenecking key process operations and improving operating discipline.
  • Innovated a new process that integrates 2 major product lines in one facility providing capital savings of $15 million as well as operating cost savings and improved product quality.
  • Reduced capital by 20%, improved product quality, and added new product capability by developing a breakthrough design using enhanced process technologies for a new production train.
  • Ensured $3 million per year of business by improving product quality to meet customer needs.
  • Saved the business $1.5 million per year by qualifying new sources of internal and external raw materials for cationic cellulosic production.
  • Captured market share worth $500 thousand per year from a competitor in China by developing a new product.

Union Carbide Corporation, Bound Brook, NJ, 1987 - 2001

  • Senior Engineer, Project/Research Scientist for new product/process research and development, product/process improvement, and technical service for global water soluble polymers business supporting operations in Belgium, Brazil, China, and the U.S.
  • Expanded polymer production capacity 40% and sales by $12 million per year by developing and implementing new drying and separation technologies as part of a new production facility.
  • Brought project, as part of "Fasttrack" team, from concept to startup in 15 months. ~Increased polymer production capacity 30% and sales by $12 million per year by transfer of Fasttrack technology to a new plant in China.
  • Identified savings of $3.7 million annually by proving pilot-scale technical feasibility of a patented process to convert by-product salt to acid and base using ultrafiltration and desalting/water splitting electrodialysis technologies.
  • Led team to design, construct, and successfully start-up a pilot plant capable of reacting, washing, and drying water soluble polymers. This valuable research and development tool has been used for new process scale-up, new product sampling to customers, and process improvement work.
  • Increased sales by $2 million per year by developing and implementing a flow-aid addition technology for a new product grade for a key customer.
  • Implemented continuous washing technology, thereby de-coupling reaction and washing operations, yielding 20% more capacity for each of 2 production units.

Honors & Publications

Credentials

  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt adept at building, leading, and contributing to cross-functional project teams to identify business-critical problems and implement cost-effective solutions.

Awards

  • Union Carbide's highest honor, The Chairman's Award Fasttrack Polymer Team Member.
  • Special Recognition Award for leading research and development work on patented waste stream recovery process for water soluble polymers business.
  • Research report on the development of granulation technologies for water soluble polymers, named Best of 1st, awarded by the East Coast Scientists Organization.

Education

  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
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