David H. Vahlsing has extensive petroleum industry and consulting experience, with emphasis on process design, technology evaluation, project scoping and oversight of project teams.
Dave developed and applied his professional expertise at various locations within Sunoco, Inc and subsidiaries, including the Toledo refinery, the Central Engineering Department, the Toronto headquarters of Suncor and in R&D, and since with HEA and Becht Engineering. He was the Central Engineering expert in HF Alkylation, Isomerization, treating of crude and refinery projects where he also supervised the Process Design and computer support groups. He has evaluated many licensed technologies for use in Sunoco’s refinery and chemicals businesses. He managed the Synfuels and the Technology sections of Sunoco’s R&D that included support to Sunoco’s coal company, tar sand operation in Alberta, Canada and research projects funded by the federal government and by the corporation. He has served as an expert witness for international arbitration cases. Examples of projects include:
- Third party review of fired heater performance at a very large refinery.
- Negotiation of licensed technology terms for performance and fees.
- Expert witness for an oil recovery company during arbitration for breach of contract.
- Selection of technology for converting olefins to fuels in a Canadian refinery.
- Evaluation of a Green Technology fit for a client with a unique feedstock.
- Assisted client in search for feedstock to supplement dwindling supply.
- Technology (Pyrolysis) ranking of 5 licensor claims for olefins and aromatics production.
- Project to improve crude oil ship unloading rates to reduce demurrage fees.
- Analysis of overall refinery energy use related to refining complexity.
- Evaluation of ethanol economics and performance as a motor fuel additive.
- On the Sunoco R&D team that invented superacid catalysts now used commercially in butane isomerization.
- Cost estimates for refinery process units to determine tax basis.
- Evaluation of contractor bid proposals made to a major client.
- Field staffing for startup of new process units in overseas locations.
- Determination of extent of dispersal of an oil spill.
- Due diligence reviews of shale oil and coal upgrading projects.
- Valuation of a shutdown oil terminal.
- Redesign of a batch still for very heavy oil fractionation.
- Process design and cost estimate for refinery amine system revamp.
- Review and report on petroleum industry standards for fired heater design.
- Assisted client in evaluation of refinery for purchase.
Mr. Vahlsing holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has MS degree credits from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed the Industrial Research Institute program for R&D managers. He is a co-inventor of superacid catalyst technology, and has been issued patents in this field. Dave is a member of AIChE and of the American Chemical Society and is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He is a past chair of the Chemical Consultants Network and served as a director for the MIT club of Delaware Valley.