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Rankin Chemical Technologies, Inc.
engineering · consulting · process design

RCT Project Experience

Below is a listing of some specific projects I have personally executed while operating as a chemical engineer consultant for RCT:

For a detailed project listing prior to my time at RCT, click here.

  1. BASF Catalysts (formerly Engelhard)
    • PGM refinery expansion process design..
      • Produced mass and energy balances for refining of palladium-rich ash using salts and solutions chemistries.
      • Produced PFDs, P&IDs, general arrangements and equipment elevation drawings.
      • Generated detailed equipment and instrument lists.
    • Hammermill revamp process design.
      • Designed/specified pneumatic convey system including filter/receiver, bulk bag filler, and vacuum pump skid.
      • Designed/specified hammermill feed hopper and declumper.
      • Produced PFDs, P&IDs, general arrangements and equipment elevation drawings.
    • Electric arc furnace and converter front-end process design.
      • Generated comprehensive heat and material balances for furnace and converter and associated offgas handling systems.
      • Produced PFDs and developed specifications for major offgas handling equipment.
    • Furnace and offgas incineration study and process design.
      • Evaluated multiple furnaces and offgas incineration train and recommended changes to improve combustion performance and stability.
      • Developed a rigorous combustion model that calculated time dependent temperature and burner response during dynamic batch incineration process.
      • Designed a new waste heat boiler to improve energy recovery and a quench system to cool down outlet gases prior to entering scrubber.
      • Evaluated hydraulics of combustion air system and induced draft fan for incineration offgas train.
    • Electric arc furnace vent gas project.
      • Evaluated a vent system that handles hot corrosive furnace gases and recommended changes in the existing design to minimize duct failures and excessive maintenance.
      • Produced PFD, P&ID and equipment specifications for modified process.
    • Rotary calciner upgrade project preliminary engineering.
      • Conducted thorough engineering evaluation of existing calcination and offgas handling process to determine project scope to accommodate 400% higher throughput.
      • Work included detailed heat and mass balances, PFDs, thermal evaluation of calciner, equipment sizing, equipment specifications and general arrangement.
      • Produced a ROM factored cost estimate.
  2. Milliken Chemical
    • Cooling water optimization.
      • Performed hydraulic modeling of cooling water distribution system.
      • Sized and specified restriction orifices to regulate flow between two separate towers.
    • Process water delivery system optimization.
      • Evaluated plant-wide process water distribution system hydraulics.
      • Designed surge tank and pump system for pressure-critical systems.
    • Capacity upgrade preliminary engineering.
      • Provided debottlenecking evaluations for three process areas for anticipated 20% capacity increase.
      • Created material and energy balances for three debottlenecking options involving the use of reverse osmosis and evaporation technologies.
      • Evaluated hydraulic requirements and sized pumps to handle the increased flows and pressures.
      • Performed preliminary sizing of plate-and-frame and shell-and-tube heat exchangers and consulted with vendors to obtain budget cost estimates.
    • Solvent storage tank venting.
      • Evaluated fifteen solvent storage tanks for emergency relief protection and process venting scenarios.
      • Performed sizing calculations and created specifications for new emergency pressure-vacuum relief valves with remote sensing pilots for external pool fire and inbreathing cases. Sizing calculations accounted for the pressure drop across deflagration flame arrestors designed for 1.2 bar initiation pressures.
      • Calculated thermal outbreathing rates and evaluated the hydraulics of three process vent header systems.
      • Specified three replacement conservation vent valves on the process vent header solvent recovery systems.
    • Solids cake convey/dissolve study.
      • Evaluated options for conveying and dissolving solids cake dropped from a tube press.
      • Produced PFDs and associated cost estimates for the various options.
    • Cooling water process modeling.
      • Developed a spreadsheet-based mathematical model for cooling water system.
      • Model calculates process heat loads for various processes and configurations, then uses this information to create a dynamic response of the chiller system.
    • Reactor process design.
      • Generated heat and material balances for reaction process.
      • Developed rigorous model of reactor heat transfer and steam stripping operation.
      • Designed and specified overhead condenser and vacuum system.
    • Specialty chemicals manufacturing process design.
      • Generated heat and material balances and process flow diagram for new manufacturing process.
      • Developed rigorous model of exothermic reaction process.
      • Designed heat transfer equipment for controlling reaction exotherm.
      • Assisted in process design of centrifugation and filtration processes.
    • Batch chemical expansion process design.
      • Generated process design calculations for new facility, including simulation of reactors, heat exchangers, vapor-liquid equilibrium analysis, liquid-liquid and 2-phase heat exchanger designs.
      • Calculated plant utility requirements and modeled process chiller and cooling water systems.
      • Conducted extensive line sizing, hydraulic analysis, and sizing of all pump systems.
      • Performed sizing of critical recirculation high pressure blower system.
  3. SI Group (formerly Albemarle)
    • PSV sizing and documentation.
      • Generated detailed sizing and documentation package for multiple pressure safety valves and rupture discs for new batch reaction process.
      • Produced calculations and orifice sizing for each scenario.
      • Evaluated inlet and tailpipe hydraulics.
    • MON Rule emissions calculations.
      • Generated detailed emissions calculations for multiple batch chemical processes for compliance with the MON Rule.
    • Vent header modification project.
      • Conducted detailed hydraulic calculations and recommended changes to the existing vent header to minimize back-pressure.
      • Produced a process design to optimize HCl removal and eliminate mists going to the thermal oxidizer.
      • Generated P&IDs and equipment specifications.
    • PharmaMACT environmental compliance.
      • Prepared calculations and a detailed tabulation of emission sources (referred to as operating scenarios) for large pharmaceutical production unit for compliance with PharmaMACT.
    • Solvent recovery process design.
      • Prepared complete process design package for solvent recovery system, which included absorber, distillation column, heat exchangers and pumps.
      • Conducted process simulation of system using ChemCAD software, produced heat and material balances, hydraulic calculations, and sized the columns, pumps and heat exchangers.
      • Generated P&IDs and equipment specifications.
    • MON Rule environmental compliance.
      • Generated detailed studies and calculations for two batch chemical production units to determine environmental emissions of hazardous air pollutants for compliance with the MON rule.
      • Analyses were performed for both the crude production and distillation sections of the plant.
  4. Solvay (formerly Rhodia)
    • Chemical reactor design.
      • Sized and designed new 10,000 gallon reactor for use in phosphation chemistries.
      • Calculated agitation requirements for multi-impeller design and worked closely with vendors to establish optimum configuration for incorporation of solids into the reaction mixture.
      • Evaluated multiple internal cooling coil configurations to arrive at optimum design.
      • Modeled batch heating using external steam half-pipe jackets.
      • Designed gas sparge ring for inert gas stripping process.
      • Sized pressure relief devices for reactor, internal cooling coils and external heating jacket, and utilized DIERS technology for two-phase flow prediction and analysis.
    • Pressure relief device sizing and rating.
      • Generated plausible overpressure scenarios for 22 PRDs in chemical service, including reaction chemistries.
      • Developed calculations and documentation package including sizing, inlet losses, tailpipe backpressures, and reaction forces.
      • Predicted two-phase flow relief events using DIERS technology.
      • All work in compliance with API Standards 520 and 521.
    • Chemical reactor design.
      • Designed two new reactors for use in phosphation chemistries.
      • Calculation and optimization of internal heat transfer coils, external jackets, and agitation.
      • Produced PFDs and P&IDs of proposed reaction processes with material and energy balances.
      • Provided on-site supervision and monitoring of trials to validate the process.
    • Pilot plant process development.
      • Developed process for inducting reactive solids into recirculating process liquid stream for batch chemical manufacture.
      • Produced PFD and P&ID of proposed process with material and energy balances.
      • Provided detailed specifications for reactors and agitators.
    • Environmental study.
      • Provided consulting and made recommendations to permit manufacture of new batch reaction product while maintaining compliance with environmental wastewater regulations.
      • Produced PFD of proposed process.
      • Developed written environmental compliance and implementation plan.
    • Cooling tower upgrade.
      • Calculated area cooling requirements for multiple batch reactors and heat exchangers.
      • Sized new cooling tower and established flow rates for all users.
      • Produced PFD, P&ID and equipment specifications for new cooling tower, pumps and sidestream filtration system.
    • Phosphation reactor upgrade.
      • Created a detailed specification for a new half-pipe jacketed reactor.
      • Produced model to account for chemical reaction pathways and compositions for the prediction of batch physical properties.
      • Generated detailed heat transfer calculations for stirred vessel incorporating half-pipe jacket and internal steam coil.
      • Developed external loop induction and heat transfer process for effective introduction of raw materials and temperature management.
    • Ethoxylation process modeling.
      • Prepared a spreadsheet-based mathematical model for simulating ethoxylation reactions in conventional stirred pressure vessels.
      • Developed custom Visual Basic algorithms to simultaneously calculate gas absorption, chemical reaction, and heat transfer processes for dynamically predicting temperature and pressure response under varying process configurations and conditions.
      • Wrote program for safety envelope monitoring of ethylene oxide atmospheres.
      • Recommended process improvements arising from model sensitivity and optimization runs.
    • Pressure relief valve sizing.
      • Provided detailed analysis and sizing of process safety relief systems per API Recommended Practice 520 and ASME Sec. VIII.
      • Documentation consisted of system sketches, scenario and sizing calculations, and inlet pipe and tailpipe hydraulic analysis.
  5. Renessenz (formerly LyondellBasell)
    • Chlorination reactor design.
      • Developed thermochemistry data for chlorination reaction involving Lucas reagant (ZnCl2-H2O-HCl) using predictive methods for heats of formation.
      • Generated detailed mass and energy balances for batch reaction process including jacketed glass-lined reactor and overhead condenser.
      • Performed rigorous heat transfer modeling of glass-lined stirred reactor employing agitation nozzles in jacket.
    • Grignard reactor design.
      • Developed thermochemistry and property data for proprietary Grignard reaction using ChemCAD modeling and predictive methods for heats of formation.
      • Generated detailed mass and energy balances for batch reaction process including reactor vessels, Magnesium powder slurry dispersion system, pump-around loops, heat exchangers and overheads rectifying column.
      • Performed rigorous heat transfer modeling of half-pipe jacket and glass-lined stirred reactors.
    • Terpene distillation column modeling.
      • Modeled multiple distillation columns for purification and separation of terpenes from crude sulfate terpentine (CST) feed using Aspen-Plus simulation tool.
      • Developed mass and energy balance for each column.
      • Generated McCabe-Thiele plots and used Fenske-Underwood-Gilliland stage analysis methods as a check against the Aspen-Plus results.
      • Evaluated column hydraulics, and sized new columns for proposed higher capacities.
      • Produced sensitivity analyses of column variables to determine optimum process conditions and column configurations.
    • CST sulfur lights column upgrade.
      • Modeled primary crude sulfate terpentine (CST) distillation column and recommended modifications to improve separation efficiency of light sulfur compounds (Aspen Plus simulation software).
      • Sized and specified new partial condenser and thermosiphon reboiler.
      • Evaluated packed column hydraulics.
    • Sulfur recovery column upgrade.
      • Modeled two-column distillation system for recovering dimethyl sulfide from feed containing methyl mercaptan and other sulfur compounds.
      • Performed sensitivity studies to arrive at optimum column design.
      • Evaluated packed column hydraulics.
    • Batch reactor sparger and gas dispersion study.
      • Evaluated Oxygen sparger and gas dispersion in batch organic reactor.
      • Calculated hydraulics of sparger and made recommendations to improve design.
      • Evaluated agitator design and estimated gas holdup.
  6. Ethox Chemicals
    • Air permit emissions documentation.
      • Produced detailed emissions calculations for proposed alkoxylation plant including raw material storage tanks, process reactors and process vessels.
      • Generated predictive theoretical model for estimating emissions of a variety of products having diverse molecular weights and chemistries.
      • Developed comprehensive emissions summary and report.
    • Alkoxylation plant front-end engineering and design (FEED).
      • Developed Block Flow Diagram of entire plant, including raw material storage, process reactors and vessels, process vacuum and vent systems, emergency relief blowdown, and vent scrubbers.
      • Produced Process Flow Diagrams for all processes including rigorous mass and energy balances and stream summaries.
      • Sized and designed ethoxylation reactors and agitators. Optimized multiple internal cooling coils to achieve efficient heat transfer.
      • Sized and designed horizontal ethylene oxide and propylene oxide storage tanks incorporating external half-pipe cooling coils.
      • Sized and designed strip vessels for removal of residual 1,4-dioxane using inert gas and steam stripping. Performed detailed sizing calculations for dual sparge rings design.
      • Sized and designed raw material storage tanks incorporating the use of eductor mixer systems for agitation of tank contents.
      • Designed tempered glycol heating and delivery system to service multiple jacketed raw material storage tanks.
      • Modeled and designed vent scrubbing system to provide 99% removal of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide vapors. Design included packed column, reaction tank, surge tank and recirculating pump system. VLE modeling was conducted utilizing ChemCAD simulation software.
      • Designed process vacuum system complete with knockout drums, direct contact condenser and liquid ring vacuum pumps.
    • Alkoxylation plant pressure relief device sizing.
      • Evaluated and sized emergency pressure relief devices for major process vessels associated with proposed ethoxylation plant. Analysis included the use of DIERS technology for prediction and evaluation of two-phase venting.
      • Generated time-dependent pressure response curves of two-phase relief events to ensure proper sizing of relief devices.
  7. KoSa (formerly Hoechst Celanese)
    • Pressure relief system analysis.
      • Provided detailed analysis of critical process safety relief systems per API Recommended Practice 520 and ASME Sec. VIII.
      • Documentation consisted of system sketches, scenario and sizing calculations, and inlet pipe and tailpipe hydraulic analysis.
    • Polymer additive process design.
      • Provided process design for late addition polymer additive.
      • Process included bulk solids handling system, melt vessel, storage tank and pumps.
      • Generated rigorous unsteady state heat transfer analysis of melt vessel to provide optimized batching and heat transfer rates.
    • Continuous polymerization dechoke.
      • Designed and installed new esterification reactor, distillation column, condensers, reboiler, and a recirculating glycol scrubber system.
      • Distillation column design introduced a new control philosophy and improved internals technology that resulted in a fifty fold reduction in overheads losses.
      • Produced P&IDs, and specified, evaluated and procured process equipment.
    • Distillation column dechoke.
      • Increased capacity of distillation columns by 15%.
      • Modifications involved complete internals revamp with high performance trays, new column level controls, pumps, piping and flow meters.
      • Modeled the columns using Aspen-Plus simulation software.
    • Batch polymer optimization study.
      • Evaluated the esterification and overhead column system.
      • Generated material and energy balances, and calculated heat transfer capabilities for the jacketed reactor.
      • Recommended the replacement of the existing enriching column with a true distillation column, and modeled and sized the column using an Aspen-Plus simulator program.
      • Developed data sheets for column, condenser and thermosiphon reboiler, and generated a P&ID of the modified process.
      • Produced a report and ROM factored cost estimate.
  8. SantoLubes (formerly Blackman Uhler Chemical Company)
    • Chlorofluorocarbon Batch Synthesis Process Design.
      • Produced complete process design for batch synthesis of a proprietary chlorofluorocarbon product. Process involved jacketed reactors, packed bed distillation column and overheads system, adsorption drying column, and a compressor system for loading/unloading liquid raw materials and products.
      • Front-end process work included heat and material balances, preparation of Process Flow Diagrams, and modeling of the reactor and distillation column systems.
      • Detailed engineering work included preparation of Piping and Instrument Diagrams, sizing and specification of equipment, and evaluation of system hydraulics.
      • Oversaw and coordinated work with piping contractor and control system programmer.
      • Wrote detailed process description for operator training and as a template for the writing of code for control system.
      • Supervised installation of the internals for the packed bed distillation and adsorption drying columns.
      • Participated in commissioning and start-up of system.
      • After start-up, system is now producing product purities that exceed the stated goal.
    • Nitration Batch Synthesis Process Support.
      • Developed heat and mass balances for a new multi-step batch synthesis process. Developed physical properties and heats of reaction for each step.
      • Modeled glass-lined reactor heat transfer during high exotherm reaction steps.
      • Performed sizing for pressure relief devices, including a rupture disk system to handle the dangerous nitration step.
      • Emergency relief system modeling accounted for the generation of non-condensable gases during a reaction runaway event. Sizing incorporated the use of DIERS technology for two-phase relief.
      • Produced specifications for pressure relief valve and rupture disk assemblies.
    • Pressure Vessel Relief Device Sizing.
      • Performed sizing of multiple pressure safety valves for organic synthesis reactors. All credible overpressure scenarios were evaluated and documented.
      • Final sizing incorporated the use of DIERS technology for the evaluation of two-phase relief.
      • Produced specifications for new pressure relief devices.
    • Octane Storage Tank Venting.
      • Performed sizing and specification of flame arrestors, conservation vents and emergency relief safety valves for two atmospheric storage tanks handling octene/octane.
      • Modeled hydraulics of displacement venting process and sized the vent lines to prevent lifting of the conservation vents during liquid transfer operations.
      • Produced specifications for new flame arrestors and pressure relief devices.
  9. Wellman
    • Esterification reactor process study.
      • Conducted a rigorous study of the primary esterification unit for PET production.
      • Work included heat and material balances around the esterification reactor, evaluation of the thermal performance of the internal reactor coil and external circulation heater, and detailed hydraulic analyses of the monomer circulation pump loop.
      • The dynamics of the process as well as the control system methodology were also studied, and numerous recommendations made to improve the stability and performance of the system.
      • Some of the recommended changes were implemented and the process is now very stable!
  10. Omnova Solutions (formerly GenCorp)
    • RMP-PSM documentation.
      • Provided documentation for chemical processes for compliance with RMP requirements under the PSM regulation.
      • Documentation included process step descriptions, control settings, and process deviation plans.

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