Category: News

PROCESS Increases Refining Process Engineering Capabilities

PROCESS has added to its excellent staff a very high caliber process engineer who has significant petroleum refining design and operations experience. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Michael Tanzio to our Gilbertsville, PA office team. Mike brings a great deal of experience to our team that our refining clients will benefit from for years to come. A summary of his qualifications is provided below.

Mr. Michael (Mike) Tanzio, Chief Process Engineer, a chemical engineer (M.S., Purdue University, 1977) with 42 years experience in process research & development and design including process modeling/simulation, process development, process safety analysis, piloting, troubleshooting and debottlenecking of a variety of processes including oil refining, gas processing, petrochemicals, biomass processing, energy and other chemical production processes, as well as providing process engineering leadership to many engineering / construction capital projects involving the conceptual, FEED, detailed design, and construction phases. Select refinery experience includes the following locations, projects, and duties:

Sonangol Lobito Refinery, Lobito, Angola – New Amine Regeneration unit, Sour Water Stripper, Sulfur Recovery unit and Saturated Gas Plant for a grassroots 200,00 BPD refinery. Work scope development and man-hour estimates for detailed engineering for multiple refinery units (FEED).

Suncor Montreal Refinery, Montreal Quebec, Canada – Delayed Coker LPG olefins hydrotreater (Process design package).

TOTAL Lindsey Oil Refinery, Immingham, UK – New diesel / heating oil hydrotreater including a new hydrodesulfurization unit, hydrogen plant, sulfur recovery unit, sour water stripper, and amine regeneration unit and utility systems upgrade (FEED).

KNPC Shuaiba Refinery, Shuaiba, Kuwait – Amine (MEA) treating facilities for treating sour gas (FEED).

Sunoco Eagle Point Refinery, Westville, NJ (Shutdown) – Low sulfur gasoline hydrotreater (Detailed / Construction). Out-of-service gasoline hydrotreater revamp (Conceptual). Cumene unit revamp expansion (FEED / Detailed).

Sunoco Point Breeze Refinery, Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia Energy Solutions) – Low sulfur gasoline hydrotreater (Detailed / Construction). FCC debottlenecking revamp including the FCC feed preheat train, wet gas compressor, main fractionator, gas plant and existing gas caustic treating system. (Conceptual). New FCC flue gas economizer (Conceptual). Propane Terminal Upgrade (Conceptual / FEED). Hydrogen Purification membrane unit (Conceptual). Flare header replacement / Relief valve adequacy (Conceptual / FEED / Detailed). Absorption tower performance (Conceptual). TAME unit study (Conceptual). Deisobutanizer modifications (Conceptual). Crude unit relief study (Conceptual).

Chevron / Sunoco Girard Point Refinery, Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia Energy Solutions) – MTBE offsites revamp including marine barge unloading, component storage, gasoline blending, gasoline storage, and oxygenate removal unit (FEED / Detailed). Butane isomerization offsites including feed preparation, feed storage, and utilities (FEED)Refinery steam production economics (Study).

Sunoco Toledo Refinery, Toledo, Ohio (PBF Energy) – Crude unit / FCC debottlenecking revamp (Conceptual). Low sulfur gasoline hydrotreater (Detailed / Construction).

Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery, Marcus Hook, PA (Shutdown, now an “Industrial Complex”) – Flare header and process vent study (Conceptual).

Mobil / Valero Paulsboro Refinery, Paulsboro, NJ (PBF Energy) – CHD relief valve study (Conceptual). ZSM-5 catalyst commercial plant test (Research & Development). FCC unit performance monitoring (Tech service). HF Alkylation unit debottleneck revamp including FCC gas plant (FEED / Detailed). Refinery relief load study (Conceptual).

Conoco Bayway Refinery, Linden, NJ (Phillips66) – Flare header and process vent study (Conceptual).

Star Enterprise Delaware City Refinery, Delaware City, DE (PBF Energy) – Refinery strategies for reformulated gasoline production (Conceptual). Propane storage vapor recovery (Conceptual). Benzene railcar facility (FEED / Detailed).

Marathon Garyville Refinery, Garyville, LA – HF Alkylation unit equipment corrosion (Study). HF acid truck unloading overpressure protection (Conceptual). HF Alkylation unit relief load mitigation strategy (Study).

Citgo Paulsboro Asphalt Refinery, Paulsboro, NJ (Axeon Specialty Products) – Crude and Vacuum unit relief valve modifications (FEED / Detailed). Caustic pipeline pig station (FEED). Boiler feedwater and service water systems debottleneck revamp (Conceptual). P&ID updates for OSHA 1910 (Tech service).

BP Trainer Refinery, Trainer, PA (Monroe Energy/Delta Airlines) – Light ends rail facility (FEED / Detailed). Catalytic Reformer benzene reduction & chloride treating (Conceptual / FEED / Detailed). Vacuum tower vacuum system and hot well revamp (Conceptual).

Process Simulator Skills:

    • Simci (Pro/II, VisualFlare)
    • Hyprotech (Hysys, Flarenet)
    • Aspen (AspenPlus, Icarus Process Evaluator)
    • BR&E (ProMax)
    • CHEMCAD.

Mike Sessions, P.E. Becomes Company Partner

Effective January 1, 2015, Mike Sessions has been made a partner (Member) of PROCESS.  Since joining our company in early 2011, Mike has been the driving force behind the establishment and growth of PROCESS’ Gulf Coast Regional office as its Business Unit Manager.  He has spent countless hours doing what has been the hallmark of achievement at PROCESS – using only his raw talent and determination, building something out of nothing.  Now fully in tune with the philosophies and practices of PROCESS, the existing partners believe it is time to welcome Mike’s input to company management on an equal basis.  Please join us in congratulating Mike on his new role at PROCESS.

New Partnership Targets Turn-Key Projects

August 2014 – Walbridge Process Engineering & Construction (WPE&C) is a newly formed full-service EPC firm combining the process engineering capabilities of Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) with construction expert Walbridge ( The company is based in Greenville, S.C. and offers process engineering, detail engineering (via subcontract), and construction services to customers in the chemical process industry, as well as the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, specialty chemical, and oil and gas industries. WPE&C has global reach and specializes in providing tailored solutions to industrial process clients looking for a single source project partner.

Does this mean PROCESS is now offering detail engineering services – NO, NEVER! We note that while process engineering, design management, and construction services will be offered directly by the new firm, detail design services will be subcontracted. Therefore, it does mean that some of our trusted engineering company clients may have an opportunity to participate as team members on turn-key projects that neither they nor PROCESS had opportunities for in the past. PROCESS will remain an independent process engineering company able to provide services in a non-competitive manner to many engineering company clients. WPE&C will pursue project opportunities where clients require turn-key EPC services.

Detail engineering services on all WPE&C projects are provided through key subcontracted design partners selected to best suit each specific opportunity, based on the detail company’s experience, the project needs, and geography. This unique approach allows the EPC team to be closely tailored to the particular requirements of each assignment, providing the best match of resources to every project. We believe the intentional strategic use of outside detail engineering group subcontractors provides an unsurpassed opportunity to customize a turn-key capable EPC project team for each specific project. This unique combination of two very specialized groups at opposite ends of the project spectrum (process engineering and construction) combined with the plug-and-play approach to detail engineering is a first of its kind to the best of our knowledge. Think about it – you’re hiring a deep, stable, senior level process group with no pressures to feed work to a large detail design team, you’re hiring a detail design team that has been hand selected for your specific project (not a one size fits all approach), and you’re hiring a seasoned construction group who is an industry leader in safety and lean construction practices and has a “lessons learned” database comprised of nearly 4,500 ‘don’t forget’ experiences from past projects.

What does PROCESS get out of this partnership? Only the potential to work and get paid for the process engineering services we provide as part of a turn-key project team, nothing else…no commissions, no percentage of profits, nothing else. We refuse to receive payment for anything other than providing our process engineering services so that our independence and unbiased technical objectivity is never at risk or in question. That is just one way we will continue to bring value to so many different types of clients.

Visit the webpage of Walbridge Process Engineering & Construction (WPE&C) to learn more.

Alternative Natural Rubber Pilot-Plant Project for Ohio State University Makes News

Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by a major U.S. University research group to assist in the development of a pilot scale process to produce an alternative source of refined natural rubber extracted from the roots of a Russian dandelion plant.  The goal of the project is to lessen U.S. dependence on natural rubber imported mainly from Southeastern Asia which is used in tire manufacturing.  While pilot scale work had been conducted during the 1940s as part of the war effort, the researchers sought to recreate and improve the process at the lab scale.  PROCESS used a combination of this information to design certain key unit operations needing further lab work, as well as generate simulations, preliminary material and energy balances, and an order of magnitude cost estimate for a pilot and commercial scale facility.  PROCESS worked closely with the researchers to develop and optimize a unique counter-current extraction process to separate the rubber from the plant roots.  PROCESS then developed a comprehensive process design package (HMBs, PFDs, P&IDs, equipment specs., etc.) and subsequently assisted the client during the startup phase. Read the article in the Ohio Country Journal. More information on this project can be Viewed Here.

InvestorIntel Invterview: Hop Boyd on the Real Advantage of Having the Right Chemical Processing Engineer on the Job

Toronto, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – April 10, 2014) – Hop Boyd Jr., Chief Manager, Process Engineering Associates LLC (PROCESS) speaks to Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel. Hop has been a chemical engineer for many years and he describes his job, in jest, as a “highly educated plumber”. Of course, PROCESS does much more than that. It offers process engineering services – as opposed to electrical, mechanical or structural – from design and to safety services, relying on its over 50 highly qualified, full-time chemical engineers. As a further analogy, Hop describes the typical scenario of a prospective client approaching PROCESS to shift from the small scale production of a given chemical to an industrial one. In other words Hop and his team will help the client by designing and developing a process on an industrial scale “that will manufacture methyl-ethyl-death or whatever it is in this person’ dreams to manufacture.”

The crucial issue for InvestorIntel, however, is what PROCESS can do for rare earth companies. Hop promptly says that PROCESS will not help them get the mineral out of the ground: “but when you get something out of the ground, you have to separate it or purify it, or even possibly convert it into another form. And that’s where we come in, designing, troubleshooting, and helping with processes to do that.” What should happen if the rare earth companies choose the wrong process engineering solutions? Hop offers a personal account to explain what can go wrong. Indeed, the story relates to the ‘genesis’ of Process Engineering itself. Hop “was working as a process engineer for another company at a major chemical company client site and we were working on a separate process when an engineer said: come to the back, where there was a brand new process sitting there; it was beautiful… But, the engineer told me that it got 50% of the production that it was supposed to deliver.” In other words the design of that chemical process was “messed up”, because they didn’t hire the proper chemical process engineering team from the very beginning.

PROCESS is a company made up exclusively by chemical engineers. As such PROCESS is uniquely qualified to evaluate the viability of a given project, offering as unbiased an answer as possible. That is because “other engineering companies have chemical as well as mechanical, civil, electrical engineering and in most cases they make their money mostly from these latter disciplines; therefore, there is a tendency… or a subtle pressure to have a project move forward, that the answer from the beginning of the chemical process design, the engineer says, yes, this makes sense, it needs to move forward,” influencing the other disciplines. Hop explains that PROCESS does not have a “dog in the fight” as to whether or not a project goes forward. The risk, then, is that the comprehensive engineering companies are under more pressure to give a project a favorable evaluation in order to see a project proceed, whereas PROCESS is solely focused on evaluating the chemical aspects.

A PROCESS Biofuels Customer Making News

One of PROCESS’ biofuels clients recently made news with regards to their successful commercial scale advances in enzyme esterification in the production of biodiesel. Blue Sun’s St. Joseph Refinery in St. Joseph, Missouri produces biodiesel. They were recently the subject of a very complimentary article in the Biofuels Digest; Article on St. Joseph Refinery Their advances offer the promise of lower conversion costs.

PROCESS congratulates Blue Sun and everyone at the St. Joseph facility in their accomplishments. You have our best wishes for continued success!

PROCESS Implements Management Changes Effective January 2014

Effective January 1, 2014 the following management changes took effect at PROCESS:

  • Mr. Roger Efferson was appointed Business Development Manager for Process Engineering Associates, LLC
  • Ms. Jacqui Stewart, P.E. was named Business Unit Manager for the Tennessee office Commercial Chemicals group of Process Engineering Associates, LLC (in addition to her continuing role as Business Unit Manager for the Pennsylvania office)
  • Mr. Andy Felker was appointed President of Process Engineering International, LLC.

In the book Good to Great, author Jim Collins speaks to getting “the right people on the bus” and then getting these people “in the right seats”. These three individuals have always been the right people to get on the bus; we believe that a slight adjustment in seat assignments will help position the PROCESS family to serve our clients better than ever before. Which is all that matters.

PROCESS Tennessee Client Receives Prestigious Safety Award

September 17, 2013 – One of PROCESS’ valued clients, the SI Group specialty chemical manufacturing plant in Newport, Tennessee has been awarded the Volunteer STAR Award by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA). The plant site has earned this top safety award as a result of its outstanding safety record and ongoing commitment to safety and health issues.

“To say that we are pleased with this designation is an understatement,” said Jeff Prickett, Director of Tennessee Operations. “This award is the culmination of the tremendous effort of everyone at our Tennessee facility and the company’s relentless pursuit of on-the-job safety.”

 congratulates everyone at the Newport facility on this outstanding achievement! View Full Press Release

Jacqui Stewart, P.E. Becomes a Company Partner

Effective January 1, 2013, Ms. Jacqui Stewart has been made a partner (Member) of PROCESS.  Since she rejoined the company in 2006 (she was an original Partner when the company formed in 1996) as the Pennsylvania office Business Unit Manager, she has grown that office some 8 fold and has contributed greatly to the management of the company during that time.  The existing Partners at PROCESS welcome her equal input into the future management of the company in the years to come.  With her leadership abilities and hard work, she has certainly earned this opportunity. Please join us in congratulating Jacqui on her new role at PROCESS.

PROCESS Opens Pacific Coast Regional Office

PROCESS has formed a new office in the Richland, Washington area for the purpose of serving both commercial and nuclear (Hanford Site related) clients in the Pacific Coast region more effectively. The office is staffed by Mr. Steven A. (Steve) Davis, P.E. (M.S. Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1976) and Mr. J. P. (Pete) Sederburg (B.S. Chemical Engineering, Oregon State University, 1987).

Office contact information:

Process Engineering Associates, LLC
404 Catskill Road
Richland, WA 99354
(509) 430-5328