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PetroMAS Engineering: Chemical Plant Design Projects
Clients Merichem and PPG Industries

Location Houston, TX and LaPorte, TX
Projects Acid Gas Substitution, and Aspartame Pre-Cursors Pilot Plant
Duration 1974 - 1980
Scope Process Design
Role Process Engineer for Design Phases

Merichem Cresylics Springing

  • Did process study on switching weak Lewis acid gas used to "spring" cresylics from H2S to CO2: driven by safety.

  • Gathered plant data onsite for development of alternate PFD and material balance ,with switch from HS2S to CO2

  • Automated stoichiometric material balance flow-sheet case study calculations in BASIC to include recycle streams.

Aspartame Precursors

  • This pilot plant project was conducted in absolute secrecy: only our boss know the actual names of the client, or the ingredients, or the intermediate products! Because of the global competition, PPG had split the production-scale pilot stages across several firms and locations.

  • We did a design using Component "A", "B" etc with all of the reaction, physical, and transport properties provided. Only after the plant was built did we learn that one of the precursor ingredients was phosgene (which did fully react: but the debate over legalizing Aspartame did not vanish).