Dr. Robert R. Odle, Ph.D.
Metallurgical Viability, Inc.
100 Wedgemont Drive
Elkton MD, 21921
Provides process engineering services for the metallurgical, chemical, wastewater, and energy fields. Process economics of new technology ventures. Conducts root cause investigations. Experienced in all aspects of process/project management especially those involving inorganic chemicals and nonferrous metals in a process or an environmental setting. Proficient in moving from concept to reality in technology and business. Strong investigative skills and proficient in root cause investigations in accidents involving metal failures or chemical reactions. Project engineering experience on projects up to $10 million; lead process engineering experience on projects up to $1 billion.
Consultant has spent about a dozen years in corrosion, failure analysis, and material selection. About four years were spent in managing a failure analysis laboratory (CTL) , three years as a corrosion consultant (DR) in the oil industry, and three years as a project manager in a ceramics company (Keramont). In addition, he has forty two (42) total years of practical experience in selecting and using materials in chemical and metallurgical facilities.
Metallurgical Engineer with 40 years of experience in these areas:
- Process Chemistry,
- Corrosion Engineering
- Process Economics / Engineering,
- Failure Analysis,
- Techno-Economic Models,
- Extractive Metallurgy,
- Industrial Waste Water Treatment
- Hazardous Metal Waste Management.
Areas of Specialization:
- Process Chemistry as applied in extractive metallurgy, waste water treatment, metals refining, sulfide metallurgy and corrosive systems.
- Corrosion Engineering as applied in the selection and evaluation of materials for chemical systems and in their analysis upon failure, especially corrosion involving hydrogen sulfide.
- Process Economics as applied to evaluating the viability of new extractive metallurgy ventures or chemical processes. Also, conceptualization of new ventures, feasibility of proposed projects.
Metallurgical Viability, Inc. 1999-Present
Some representative projects:
- 2012 Paid Proposal for developing a process for an anorthosite ore, confidential client.
- 2012 Failure analysis of leaking pipe-line owned by Petroleum Fuel and Terminal Company.
- 2012 Preliminary cost estimate for a flowsheet for concentrating gold ore for Magma Gold Company.
- 2012 Review applicability of CaCl2 process for EAF Dust for Eagle Harbor Holdings, LLC’s client.
- 2012 Recovery of magnesium from magnesium silicate raw materials (confidential client).
- 2012 Constellation Energy, investigating the root cause of equipment failures in their flue gas scrubber and make-up water system.
- 2011 National Gypsum, assisted in the evaluation of the corrosion in houses potentially exposed to hydrogen sulfide.
- 2011 Avannaa Resources, directed development of a process to recover rare earths from Karrat Isjord deposit. Preliminary evaluation of economics.
- 2010 Confidential client, Middle East, preliminary review of recovery options of MgO and micro-silica from dunites and other magnesium silicate ores.
- 2009 AstraZeneca. Evaluation of a bearing failure in ventilation motors.
- 2008 Confidential Client (battery company) evaluating viability of a secondary lead smelter in Monterrey, Mexico.
- 2007-2008 AMT Corporation, pre-feasibility study with TAI Engineering to estimate cost of a pilot plant to process K061 dust using proprietary CaCl2 Leaching Process.
- 2008 Helix Energy Group, consulting on the storage of pipe spools in the ocean and the selection of compatible piping and o-ring materials to avoid galvanic corrosion.
- 2008-2009 Naramco Company, determine root cause of an agitator failure made of Alloy 20 in a chloride environment. Evaluating chloride damage of stainless steel centrifuges.
- 2008 Alcoa, root cause of a rail failure in an aluminum smelter.
- 2007-2009 Confidential client, evaluating mineral deposits in Oman for an industrial application. Developing patent position for magnesium metal recovery.
- 2006-2007 Shoreline Industries, evaluating corrosion of dog kennels and the substitution of alternative alloys for their construction.
- 2005 Magnesium Technology Limited. Developing RFQ/Design Criteria for an experimental furnace to demonstrate the carbothermal magnesium process.
- 2005 Wolf Eagle Environmental. Technical consultant on ASARCO permit for reopening a lead/copper smelter.
- 2005 Confidential Client. Economic modeling of a process to make MgO from a ore deposit in the middle east.
- 2004-2005 Safe Hydrogen, Inc. Economic modeling of the carbothermal process for making magnesium.
- 2004 - 2005 Confidential Client. Several studies on utilizing oil sand by-products for various commercial products.
- 2002 Pildysh Technologies, Inc. Third-party opinion on carbo-chlorination process for power plant fly ash.
- 2002 Flehr Hohbach Test Albritton, Inc. supplied expertise on nickel, nickel oxide coating on solder connection for a patent litigation.
- 2002 Douglas G. Peterson & Associates/Liberty Mutual Insurance. Expediting the resumption of business for a tantalum reclamation process after an explosion. Facilitating third party tolling agreements, selecting engineering firms, evaluating condition of equipment, and providing general technical support to the Insurer.
- 2001 Webster University, instructor for course entitled “Operations Management”.
- 2001/2 Alchemix Corp, assisting with the development of processes for making methane and hydrogen from coal. Developing techno-economic models to evaluate many alternatives. Co-inventor on five Patents. Co-authored DOE Proposal.
- 2001 Magnesium Technologies Limited, developed White Paper for Investors on novel carbothermal magnesium technology. Assisting client in finding investors. Representing MTL to potential investors; assisting in the development of the required R&D program.
- 2000/01 Lone Wolf Technologies, developing chemical and regulatory strategy for hazardous waste recycling for LWT & clients.
- 2000 Anaconda Nickel, gathered and reported on general information on the Kroll Process.
- 2000 Pittsburgh Mineral & Environmental & Alchemix, developing MV MODEL for a novel automobile recycling plant to determine economics of process concept before pilot testing.
- 2000 Fluor Daniel/Alcoa, developed preliminary MV MODEL for AHF recovery from spent pot linings from an aluminum smelter.
- 2000 RF Weston, created PFD, MB, ES and a preliminary cost estimate for a facility to remove sand from an environmental dredging operation feeding a bio-film removal plant.
- 1999/2000 American Metal Recovery, AMR developed a calcium chloride process for electric arc furnace dust recycling. MV performed the following tasks (1)Developed an Engineering Scope of Work and Process Design Package for the Class 15 Feasibility Study, (2) Acted as an owner’s representative for the feasibility study with Engineering Company, (3) Lead the technology team in making several key improvements in the technology.
- 1999 RF Weston: On a superfund site, examined converters, holding furnace, and baghouses for condition, value, and decontamination requirements. Also, recommended mothball procedures.
- 1999 Magnesium Technology Limited: Due diligence study on a magnesium project. Third party evaluation of probable value of new technology and probability of commercialization.
Principal Corrosion Engineer, Dresser-Rand Company 2005 to 2010
- Specifying materials for compressors in acid gas (H2S) and marine environments. Directing R&D and corrosion testing for acid gas environments. Development of software to select materials of construction for compressors in corrosive and routine service. Inspection and failure analysis of compressor components that failed under warranty and/or under severe acid gas environments.
- Cost modeling of powder metallurgy process for Inconel 625 impellers for acid gas applications, proposal to management to build plant. Trouble shooting on corrosion problems during manufacturing.
Manager of the Failure Analysis Laboratory for Corrosion Testing Labs, Inc (CTL). 2002 to 2005.
Failure investigations of components and systems in the manufacturing, chemical and petroleum field for clients of CTL. Preparation of reports on evidence collected in investigations for legal teams. Helped raise sales of failure analysis department from $100K per year to $400K per year. Failure analysis carried on components from the following type of industries :
- Oil refineries (Sunoco, Valero, Exxon) such as pumps, pipes, heat exchangers, etc.
- Power plants such as boiler tubes, heat exchangers, condensers, etc.
- Absorption chillers (York) including tubing, heat exchangers, piping, etc.
- Motor Generators (AOL, Pillar) including copper windings, circuit boards, etc.
- Drive shaft, rotors, and other rotating equipment.
- Fire protection systems, piping, pump systems, etc.
- Medical implants, titanium and stainless steel pins, screws, joints, etc.
- Copper water heaters for industrial applications.
Principal Process Engineer for Fluor Daniel (FD) 1995 - 1999
As Principal Process engineer lead process teams for a variety of FD customers including:
- Doe Run Peru (DRP) identified $20 million/yr. savings by changing zinc plant feedstock and persuaded client to initiate studies by outside contractors to capitalize on concept.
- Developed ten year technical and business plan for the zinc circuit for DRP.
- Lead Process/Project Engineer for DRP for $6 million waste water treatment plant for the copper refinery.
- Australian Magnesium Corp.(AMC) lead process engineer for $1.0 billion facility.
- Outside review of Murin Murin Nickel Project.
- Initiated and Lead New Business Venture for SPL Processing for aluminum industry and FD. Received MVP award for development of agreements and initiating venture.
- Process engineer for Pre-feasibility Study for a new copper refinery for Phelps Dodge.
- Technical and business lead in evaluating Toth's carbo-chlorination process to make silicon tetrachloride and aluminum chloride from siliceous clay.
- Process Engineer for $700 million Gresik copper refinery complex. Also evaluated vendors for associated $7 million waste water treatment plant. Received MVP award for computerizing refinery calculations and developing process guarantees.
- Lead FD in the number and size of MVP awards for two years while in U.S.
Technical Director for Southern Water Treatment Co. 1991 - 1995
As Process/Project Manager built a plant to manufacture sodium dimethyl dithiocarbamate (DTC) utilizing highly hazardous chemicals DMA, carbon sulfide, and caustic (concept to reality). Started up a hazardous metal waste recycling company (concept to reality). Negotiated only contract in the nation from Cyprus Amax in which a hazardous waste was purchased by a smelter by establishing and meeting copper sulfide product specifications.
Technical Director for Encycle, Inc. 1989 - 1991
Establishing the conceptual plan and initial implementation of hazardous metal waste recycling plant. Part of startup team to take business from concept to reality. Developed pricing strategy for a wide variety of hazardous metal wastes. Developed product specifications and markets for products (concentrates). Contributed to the development of processes for recycling hazardous metal wastes.
Process Consultant/Software Business Owner. CMS, Inc. 1984 - 1989.
Process consulting on treatment and disposal of cyanide wastes, pesticide formulator product registrations, lead emissions studies for OSHA. Evaluated technologies for a venture capital firm. Developed software for manpower allocation program for Sanger Harris Department Stores. Developed expert system for secondary copper furnaces (NSF/SBIR grant) which calculated charge balances for furnaces to optimize profits around unit operations. Wrote business package for child care centers, sold resulting company.
Keramont Company. Senior Process Engineer 1984 - 1987
Project Manager on scale-up of silicon carbide whisker production process (concept to reality). Process discontinued from health risks associated with SiC whiskers.
Anaconda Copper. Senior Research Engineer 1981 - 1984
Project Manager for pilot scale testing of direct smelting of copper concentrates and re-opening the closed Anaconda Smelter. Designed and built a 50 KVA pilot scale electric furnace. Secondary projects on flash smelting of molybdenum sulfide to moly-trioxide.
AMAX Nickel Company. Senior Process Engineer 1978 - 1981
Process Engineer and frequent Project Manager for implementation of new technology in facility for production of nickel, cobalt, and copper from matte via a complex hydrometallurgical process. Frequent Project Leader for implementation of new technology. Primarily responsible for cobalt circuit. Implement change in flow sheet to remove selenium from copper circuit.
Copper Division of Southwire Company. 1974 - 1978.
Plant Metallurgist and Process Engineering Supervisor for a copper recycling smelter and for a continuous rod plant (SCR). Improved process circuit for copper smelting primarily by reducing recycling loads and the improved agglomeration of copper fines before recharging. Worked on hydrometallurgical processes for recovering ZnO and other products from waste dust streams.
Asarco Copper Smelter (El Paso). Engineering Assistant. 1968 - 1970
College student with part-time job at smelter. Responsible for monitoring natural gas consumption of all unit operations at smelter and producing a monthly material balance.
- Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering, Ohio State University, 1974. Dissertation on "Some Characteristics of Electrochemical Deoxidation of Induction-Stirred Copper Melts."
- BS and MS in Metallurgical Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso, 1970 and 1971. Thesis on "The Effects of Periodic Current Reversals on the Electrodeposition of Copper." (Funded- by Phelps Dodge Copper Co.)
- Completed 35 hours in last year of MBA curriculum, West Georgia College, Carrollton, Ga, 1978.
- Courses in Assembly language programming, Pima College, 1985.
- R.R. Odle and R.A. Rapp. "Electrochemical Studies and Processes Involving Oxygen in Liquid Metals", Electrochemical Society Symposium on Metal-Slag-Gas Reactions and Processes, eds. Z.A. Foroulis and W.W. Smeltzer, Toronto, May 1973.
- R.R. Odle and R.A. Rapp. "Further Studies of the Electrochemical Deoxidation of Induction-Stirred Copper Melts", Met. Trans., Vol. 8B, No. 4, Dec. 1977.
- R.R. Odle, A.E. Morris and R.J. McClincy. "Investigation of the Direct Smelting of Copper Concentrates", International Sulfide Symposium, eds. H.Y. Sohn and D.B. George, A.I.M.E. (TMS), San Francisco, November 1983.
- R.R. Odle and T. Marx. "Computerized Blast Furnace Charge Selection and Optimization", National Science Foundation Conference on Manufacturing Processes, Machines, and Systems, Gainesville, Florida, November 1986.
- R.R. Odle and T. Marx. "Expert MRP System for a Secondary Copper Blast Furnace", AIME Annual Meeting, Denver, February 1987.
- R.R. Odle and S. Narasimhan. "Keramont's SiC Whisker Process", American Ceramic Society Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, 1989.
- R.R. Odle, et al. "The Recycling of Hazardous Metal Plating Wastes", JOM, Vol. 43, No. 6, June, 1991, p. 28-31.
- R.R. Odle, et al. “Techno-Economic Model for the Carbothermal Magnesium Process, TMS, February 2005.
- Robert R. Odle, “Getting the Most out of a Materials Failure”, Chemical Engineering Progress, April 2007.
- Albert Olszewski and Robert Odle, Failure Investigation of Electronic Components in Backup Generators, NACE Corrosion, 2008, paper no. 08196.
- Pyrometallurgical Process for the Continuous Refining of Secondary and Blister Copper, U.S. Patent 4,315,775.
- Hydrometallurgical Process for the Refining of Crude Nickel Sulfate, U.S. Patent 4,314,976.
- Method for the Treatment of Coal, U.S. Patent 20,020,124,466.
- Method and Apparatus for the Production of Hydrogen Gas, U.S. Patent 20,020,127,178.
- Method for the Production of Hydrogen and Applications Thereof, U.S. Patent 20,030,072,705.
- Method for the Production of a Methane Containing Gas, U.S. Patent, 20,020,139,049.
- Method for the Production of Ammonia, U.S. Patent 20,020,127,165.
- Method for the Production of Hydrogen-Containing Gaseous Mixtures, U.S. Patent No. 6,685,754.
- System of Removing Moisture from a Process Gas to Reduce Corrosion, U.S. Patent No. 8075245.
- Reducing Corrosion in a Turbo Machine by pH Adjustment, U.S. Patent No. 8101125.
- One patent filed for the improvement of the nozzle-based carbothermal magnesium process.
Professional Fee Schedule
Typical fee schedule for 2012*
- $150/hr for in-house projects
- $250/hr for legal work and/or travel done out of state
*Binding rates and terms set by individual contracts with clients.