Since 1999, Thermal Kinetics has been providing full-service process equipment supply, engineering, development, and design services. We offer advanced energy-saving solutions, patented technological integration, and sophisticated process plant development – proudly matching each of our customers’ specific needs with optimum productivity and profitability.
At the forefront of new techniques and technologies, Thermal Kinetics is dedicated to providing environmentally friendly, energy-saving solutions. With an emphasis on respect, teamwork, and timeliness, our innovation-driven and solutions-focused team has the industry insight and experience to guide your project from start to finish.
We solve a diverse range of difficult heat/mass transfer process applications, while promoting sustainability, excellence, and value for our customers.
Thermal Kinetics is committed to providing process equipment solutions that help sustain and conserve environmental resources.
Our renewable fuels initiatives offer major energy conservation benefits to our clients and support energy independence for the USA.
“When working with us on the development of a revolutionary technology, Thermal Kinetics played a critical role in navigating complex intellectual property laws and regulations. They were extremely helpful throughout all stages of development, and since 2003, we’ve been receiving process design support that has been paramount for ensuring smooth, efficient operations. This support has included assistance in setting proper equipment specifications, as well as help designing proprietary reactors and determining ideal equipment sizes. Their team has also worked with us to determine proper general-equipment arrangements and plant elevations, as well as navigate complex regulatory and emissions standards. Their logistical design and planning services for our inbound and outbound truck flows have allowed for streamlined processes and much more efficient operations.
But perhaps most importantly, their suggested modifications for material and energy balances have resulted in improved heat integration and heat recovery, in turn improving overall efficiency and reducing required maintenance needs. The team at Thermal Kinetics truly understands how to deal with thermal expansion, stress and, most importantly, phase change — a unique skill that’s hard to find elsewhere. Over several years of working with them, we’ve observed how well they train and educate their staff in order to reduce time to market and ensure the highest-quality service.
We’re proud to count Thermal Kinetics as a trusted partner, helping us safeguard our unique processes, trade secrets, and intellectual property. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them for years to come.”
– Brian S. Appel, Co-Founder and Vice President of SYNPET Technologies
“In 2006 Calgren Renewable Fuels, LLC (Calgren) contracted with Lurgi, Inc. (Lurgi) for a turnkey ethanol plant to be built in Pixley, CA. Exercising the design flexibility afforded them under the EPC contract, Lurgi turned to Thermal Kinetics Engineering, PLLC (TKE) for engineering and procurement of the distillation, dehydration and evaporation (DDE) portion of the plant.
As construction, commissioning and startup of the ethanol plant were not without incident, Calgren and the main EPC contracting entities found it necessary to resort to arbitration to resolve their differences. Throughout that ordeal and even though TKE had no contractual obligation to Calgren, TKE stood by its DDE design and provided Calgren any assistance required.
Calgren’s Pixley plant is among the most efficient in the ethanol industry. Much of the credit
goes to TKE’s energy efficient design. When Calgren has had the opportunity to benchmark its plant against others in the industry, the comparison has been favorable. For example, under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard numerous ethanol producers have filed for low carbon intensity sub-pathways. Several of these filings reveal low overall energy consumption. Calgren’s energy consumption is significantly better than any of them.
Energy efficiency is frequently achieved through process integration and TKE’s DDE design is no exception. But highly integrated process are sometimes hard to troubleshoot. In every instance in which Calgren has been baffled by DDE process issues and found it necessary to reach out to TKE for assistance, they have responded with sage and knowledgeable advice.
We would not hesitate to recommend that TKE be considered for similar work at other facilities.”
– Lyle J. Schlyer, President of Calgren Renewable Fuels
“Thermal Kinetics provided an excellent solution for our unique facility needs. Their systems are well designed and equipment is robust. Their systems met or exceeded all anticipated performance and, after over a year of operations, we continue to realize additional capabilities. They were a great business partner on our project.”
– Jeff Zueger, Chief Executive Officer of Midwest AgEnergy Group
Meet Our Team:
Christopher Brown, P.E.: President
Chris Brown has been a leading figure in the world of chemical process engineering for 40 years. Starting out as an applications engineer, Chris worked and learned his way to owning one of the premier process equipment solutions providers in the country. An expert in renewable fuels, he has several patents that substantially reduce the energy consumption during the ethanol production process. Always focused on complete customer satisfaction, Chris takes a personal approach with his customers and is involved from the inception of a project to final commissioning and follow-up.
Key Career Milestones:
- Director of Engineering for two major equipment systems suppliers from 1992 to 1998.
- Start up and operation of four successful engineering and equipment systems companies.
- Managed several key divisions/departments over the years, with full responsibility for sales, marketing, P&L, strategic planning and customer service. Revamped and upgraded facilities while implementing a strong project management discipline.
- Inventor of several energy-saving technology patents that are used in the renewable fuels industry.
- Responsible for numerous evaporation, distillation, adsorption, emission control systems, and other heat and mass transfer plant installations, as well as several chemicals production plants.
- Process engineering manager/process development specialist with an understanding of chemical systems, chemical process simulation, and how to achieve the maximum performance from available process equipment technologies.
- Anhydrous flake caustic soda and calcium chloride production plants.
- Sodium sulfite and sodium thiosulfate manufacturing plants.
- Hydrochloric acid synthesis and recovery plants.
- Developed best available technology process for distillation, evaporation, and dehydration integration for production of fuel ethanol.
- Consultant for design modifications of chemical and food processing systems for increased energy efficiency.
- Distillation, dehydration, evaporation technologies
- Mass/thermal transfer
- Chemical process design
- Chlor-alkali plants
- Engineering design
- Project management
- Corporate management
- Ethanol distillation with distillers soluble solids recovery apparatus
- Improved adsorption process for dehydration of alcohol
- Use of Pressure Swing
- Adsorption (PSA) for water removal from a wet methanol stream
- Production of Dry Alcohol: uses synthesis gas and watergas shift reaction to remove water from azeotropic ethanol co-producing methanol, hydrogen, and heat.
Carl Schade, CPM: Procurement Director
Carl has over 40 years of experience in the recommendation and procurement of strategic parts and components for all facets of process equipment fabrication. He has developed outstanding relationships with many prominent vendors and is always looking out for the best interests of customers.
Key Career Milestones:
- Development and implementation of Supply Chain Management business processes and procedures to ensure continuous improvement.
- Consistently achieving significant annual savings through vendor selection, dual sourcing, and product evaluation.
- Several high-level supervision positions that directed the flow of materials, guided vendors, and trained internal staff on best purchasing practices.
- Supply chain management/processes
- Contract negotiations
- Material management
- Quality assurance
Christopher Spengler: Process Engineer
Since graduating from the University at Buffalo with honors four years ago, and bringing with him an accomplished college career, Chris has been a welcome addition to the Thermal Kinetics team. His natural abilities in the analysis of complex chemical thermal design, the processing of distillation computer simulation runs and locating potential problem areas in the design of process equipment has made him an invaluable team member. Responsible for process simulation, heat exchanger design, separations equipment design and selection, pump systems, and instrumentation and controls specification, selection, and integration.
Key Career Milestones:
- Design team member for a bioethanol plant with a capacity of 70MM gallons per year.
- Involved in the FEL 2 level design of a chemicals production facility in Spain for manufacture of sodium sulfite, sodium metabisulfite, ammonium sulfite, and ammonium thiosulfate.
- Involved in design of a municipal waste to energy pilot facility constructed in Istanbul, Turkey.
- High capability in process simulation and heat exchanger design and specification.
- Process safety devices – relief valve and disc specification, sizing and selection.
- Supported startup and commissioning of fuel ethanol production facilities.
- Utilizes raw process data and flow schematics from customers to develop a complete process solution.
- Managed pilot plant project to determine crystal growth and point of precipitation.
- Produced photoluminescent silicon nanoparticles in Pyrolysis research lab
- Bioethanol plant design
- Pyrolysis research
- CHEMCAD process simulation
- Heat and mass balance calculations
- Separations technology
- Specification and selection of process system components including pumps, filters, instrumentation, control valves, and other specialty items.
Kevin Green, P.E.: Senior Project Manager
Kevin is an asset to Thermal Kinetics’ customers, as he shares his 40 years of experience in chemical engineering and project management to lead their technically diverse projects. As our senior projects manager, he provides the day-to-day insight and guidance on a variety of assignments that is necessary for successful, on-time completion. His ability to work in the field solidifies the concept of “Total Project Management”.
Key Career Milestones:
- Lead engineer in assisting several Ethanol plants start-up and helping existing plants achieve maximum output by using his abilities to “tune” the process.
- Lead engineer for a sulfuric acid evaporator system, including complete project management and customer interface.
- Developed proprietary technology for a client by performing pilot plant studies, then translating data to a full plant design.
- Director of engineering and operations manager for a specialty chemicals manufacturer involved in all aspects of chemical plant production and operations.
- Project product supervisor to produce chemical intermediate that was used in the manufacture of indigo dye.
- Consulting engineer supporting a number of major chemicals, steel production, and graphite manufacturers.
- Converted single fuel process heaters and steam boiler to duel fuel capability saving $350K annually.
- As projects manager has led the design and construction of projects totaling over $50,000,000 in total installed construction value bringing the projects on-line, on-time, and on budget.
- Chemical process engineering
- Plant design
- Chemical Plant Operations Management
- Pilot plant performance analysis
- Field start-up/equipment tuning/troubleshooting
- Engineering and projects manager
- Quality assurance program development
- Product development and improvement
- Process safety, HAZOP analysis and root cause assessment.
Mark Massé: Project Engineer
With 29 years of experience in process engineering, project engineering, and project management, Mark has wide-ranging knowledge of food, dairy, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and other industrial applications. As a Project Engineer, he leads the team in the execution and coordination of scheduling, procuring of materials and directing of resources as required to assure an on-time completion of the project, while keeping the customer engaged all throughout the process.
Key Career Milestones:
- Senior mechanical engineer with process background supporting multiple functions within the design team.
- Project lead for a modular distillation package supervising the equipment selection, modular plant design drafting, piping layout, and shop fabrication of the modular plant.
- Support engineering for a heavy oil scrubbing and rolling oil distillation recovery plant including system component specification, selection, and purchasing support. Developed project bills of materials.
- Provided shop inspection and oversaw the design integration of the controls package and motor control center.
- Engineered, managed, and commissioned a project that included an ultrafiltration system, reverse osmosis system, pasteurizer, and heat treatment system that interacted to concentrate milk and remove lactose through a diafiltration step that reused water removed from the milk.
- Managed a project that produced two working prototype models of a portable chemical dosing system for use at water treatment plants.
- Engineered, managed, and commissioned a pervaporation system that removed an odor-causing aldehyde from a broth, allowing the recovery of several million pounds of product.
- Led team that engineered, built, and commissioned a food-grade multistage ultrafiltration system that was capable of continuous operation by safely isolating and cleaning one stage while the others remained in service.
- Process and design engineering
- Project engineering lead
- Design team leader
- Separations technologies
- Process instrumentation and controls
- Process system equipment and component specification
- Technical writing
Tom Burkholder: Evaporation/Distillation Product Manager
With over 32 years in process design, technical sales and project management, Tom has extensive experience working with intricate process equipment for chemical, industrial and sanitary applications. As the Evaporation and Distillation Product Manager for Thermal Kinetics, he provides the day-to-day insight and guidance on a variety of projects, while working closely with his customers to ensure complete customer satisfaction. Leads Thermal Kinetics’ process applications group developing a wide range of process solutions and plant proposals for evaporation, distillation, and adsorption systems.
Key Career Milestones:
- Extensive background designing integrated distillation and evaporation packaged systems for North American based chemical and pharmaceutical clients.
- Lead engineer for many process modular packaged systems for evaporation and distillation including controls, motor control centers, and site integration.
- Plant operations analysis and optimization studies for performance improvement and plant upgrades.
- Worked within cross-functional (Engineering, Q&A, Safety, Legal) development teams to design new products for one of the world’s largest food manufacturers.
- Designed and managed the engineering design and equipment implementation for two (2) new products with sales of over $75MM/product.
- Designed and performed start-up support for several world-leading companies using complex, high temperature furnace equipment.
- Directed Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Processing projects to reduce waste and significantly improve overall project results.
- Implemented “Good Engineering Practices” to reduce project defects.
- Engineered and project managed the installation of a $7MM beverage packaging system.
- Engineered a reverse osmosis system for delivering purified water.
- Process engineering design/implementation
- Project management
- Heat transfer design
- Distillation systems development and design
- Mass transfer equipment construction and design
- Process simulation and modeling
- R&D team leader
- Automation controls
- Commissioning/start-up of complex systems
- Retired U.S. Naval Officer
David Loschiavo: Senior Process Engineer
With over 18 years in pilot testing/R&D, process design engineering, technical sales and sales management, David has worked with many clients developing the initial seeds of a process to the full-scale commissioned plant. David has a broad portfolio of experience and satisfied clients, including the pharmaceutical industry. On the food side of David’s experience, his range of clients is from the small independent family-owned processing plant to the largest of food companies. Similarly, he has worked with small chemical producers to some of the largest chemical processers and engineering design firms.
Key Career Milestones:
- Broad experience in hands on pilot testing and R&D: Distillation, Evaporation, Essence recovery, product specific profiling for development into commercial projects.
- Process system development, equipment design and specification, instrumentation/controls specification and controls strategy development, through modular plant design and operation.
- Projects in evaporation, crystallization, distillation, chemicals production and associated equipment and systems integration.
- Process design engineer, Hazard Analysis, Risk Analytics
- Commissioning engineer for several large distillation and evaporation system projects.
- Assist clients with rigorous “ROI” analysis to help direct project goals and outcomes.
- Proficient in simulation software to significantly reduce engineering hours for project execution and to de-risk the process.
- Led high-level technical and management presentations.
- Commercial business manager for North American process systems supplier
- Process system design
- Process simulation and optimization
- Heat transfer design
- R&D testing/process validation
- Commercial business management/direct sales
- Project Team Leader
- Risk Management