Departmental Seminar: "Synthetic Amorphous Silica Adsorbents in Refining Processes for Edible Oils" by Dr. William Welsh

Thursday, February 21, 2013 3:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

 William A. Welsh Presentation to the Department of Chemical Engineering                                            University of Waterloo

“Synthetic Amorphous Silica Adsorbents in Refining Processes for Edible Oils”


Synthetic amorphous silica hydrogel adsorbents were developed and have been employed in the commercial refining of edible glyceride oils for removal of trace contaminants, mainly fatty acid soaps and phospholipids.  Similar refining is done also to produce biofuels. The introduction of these materials and associated process modifications into refineries has taken time and there are additional benefits yet to be realized requiring further process modification.  The basic chemistry and specific properties of such silicas, some fundamentals of adsorption, the refining process itself and the properties of importance to the refined products will be described. Improvements in processing which have already been adopted and others yet to be applied will be summarized. 

A short review of the development viewed as an example of an industrial R&D project will be made including insights on industrial R&D project management. Technical professional career path possibilities in industry will also be discussed.