Jim T. Wei has over 30 years experience in the development, improvement, engineering, and operation of petroleum and petrochemical processes, based largely on his long-term career with Sunoco, Inc. As Senior Process Specialist for Refining, he has contributed to troubleshooting and optimization of sulfuric acid and HF acid alkylation, butane and hexane isomerization, sulfur recovery, and amine treating units. As leader of the Technical Management Committee Team for the UDEX process, he has been instrumental in optimizing four UDEX units at four different refineries.
Jim has provided technical expertise and sophisticated problem solving capability for optimizing, upgrading and enhancing petrochemical technologies including purification and desulfurization of refinery light gases including ethylene, propane, and polymer-grade propylene, ethylene partial oxidation to ethylene oxide, UDEX/CAROM extraction processes, as used in Benzene Toluene Xylenes (BTX) manufacture, hydrogenation of benzene to cyclohexane, toluene disproportionation to benzene and xylene, cumene production using Mobil’s zeolite technology or SPA catalyst, propylene oligomerization, and BPA process.
As Master of Technical Service for Refining, he combined in-depth understanding of fundamentals of catalytic and chemical reactions with good communication skills among related fields including reliability engineers, operational experts, lab, and maintenance, leading a problem solving team.
- Sunoco has continuously improved and optimized alkylation and isomerization processes. Alkylate and isobutane production established records in 2006 and 2007.
- Alkylation team solved a foaming problem which arose suddenly, at a sulfuric acid unit. The team determine the cause(s) of acid foaming and runaway, established BB quality requirement during FCC start-up, and re-write emergency procedures.
- The UDEX team was able successfully to troubleshoot a serious solvent loss problem, resulting in $750M annual savings.
Based on his background development of chemical and petrochemical processes from bench-scale experimentation through pilot plant, to commercialization, he provides a similar depth of technical and problem solving expertise to petrochemical management and unit operating personnel. He has:
- Solved a vexing problem with occasional tank cars of Propylene off spec in moisture, by identifying improved instrumentation, then teaching the tank car repair shop how to check the moisture after reconditioning the tank cars.
- Conducted technical due diligence examinations for a proposed acquisition.
- Acted as Technical Product Manager in charge of product specifications, solving product quality issues, customer queries, and transfer and shipping problems.
- Recommended new catalysts, innovative feedstock cleaning processes, and state-of-the-art improved processing technologies.
Jim has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tunghai University (an affiliate of Princeton University), Taiwan, from which he graduated Summa Cum Laude, in the top 1% of the Engineering College. He has a M.S. in Chemical Engineering [with Honors] from the University of Delaware. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.