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Process Chemist to Manufacture Butandediol and Acrylonitrile: Hydrogenation Catalyst Technology

Technical Consultant #1856


  • Research chemist with over 30 years of management and technical experience related to catalysis and process chemistry.
  • Managed up to 11 professionals (6 Ph.D.) in $3 million research program.
  • Demonstrated track record to deliver technology from bench-scale invention, to pilot plant to commercialization.
  • Proven record of technical and leadership accomplishments.

1, 4-Butanediol Process Chemistry and Hydrogenation Catalysis

  • Manufacture of butanediol (BDO) from butane by oxidation of butane to maleic anhydride, hydrolysis to maleic acid, followed by hydrogenation of maleic acid to make 1,4-butanediol.
  • Manufacture of butanediol (BDO) by the BP GEMINOX™ process.
  • Expert at GEMX™ hydrogenation catalyst technology, research and development, scale-up and in-plant commercial manufacturing.
  • Senior technologist for GEMINOX™ technology.
  • Managed BDO research and development program during research, development and commercialization phases.
  • Co-inventor of numerous patents for butanediol production.
  • Contacts and knowledge of key catalyst vendors.
  • Managed BP research and development program of BP/Lurgi joint butanediol development and manufacturing program.
  • Key member on Lima BDO plant Start-up Team, Turnaround Team, and Close Plant Support.
  • BDO Product Specialist and contact for Crisis Management Team.
  • Advanced BP Chemicals gamma butyrolactone (GBL) technology through pilot plant scale.

Acrylonitrile Process Chemistry

  • Established process chemistry research program in support of nitriles acrylonitrile process.
  • Implemented two process improvements in 1992 and 1993 that resulted in $1 million incremental income per year.
  • Established research program on vinylic monomer stabilization. Work resulted in major process modification implemented in 1992 to improve plant reliability. Key safety issues presented to customers and licensees.
  • Co-developed and commercialized BP's HPLC acetonitrile purification technology.


Independent Consultant, 2005 - Present

  • Provide consultation to major chemical company in the field of hydrogenation catalysis and process chemistry.

BP Chemicals, 1999 - 2005

  • Senior Research Associate - Global Derivatives Technology.
  • Senior Technologist -- BP Chemicals BDO GEMINOX™ Technology

Manager, Derivatives (Team Leader) - Nitriles Division, 1988 - 1999

  • Managed research and development program for BP Chemicals in BDO and acrylonitrile process chemistry.
  • Senior Technologist for BDO research team.
  • Distribution of effort on butanediol and acrylonitrile programs was equally divided between catalysis and process chemistry.

BP Chemicals/SOHIO, Manager, Process Chemistry, 1985 - 1988

  • Established and supervised major research program for upgrading maleic anhydride to higher value derivatives.
  • Developed and supervised research program for upgrading acrylonitrile and co-products.
  • Supervised research project on improved ammonia synthesis catalysts.

Research Associate/Project Leader, 1979 - 1985

  • Conducted exploratory catalyst research on novel routes for HCN manufacture.
  • Developed methods for incremental production of HCN in acrylonitrile process which was commercialized by BP Chemicals.
  • Technical leader of syngas-to-oxygenates research program. Developed novel routes to plasticizer alcohols from syngas.
  • Supervised research program in molecular sieve synthesis. Program transferred to corporate research group.

Academic Experience

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario Canada

  • Postdoctoral Fellow

Honors & Publications

Academic and Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • North American Catalysis Society
  • Organic Reaction Catalysis Society
  • BP Chemicals Technology Roadshow


  • BP Chemicals Silver Award for Innovation
  • BP America Innovation Award, "Best in Class"

Publications and Patents

  • 13 Publications
  • 17 U.S. patents


  • Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry-Organometallic, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • B.A. Chemistry, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN
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