Phillip Niccum, PE - KP Engineering
Describes early petroleum refining processes such as thermal cracking and delayed coking for creating gasoline as background to the development of fluid catalytic cracking. The FCCU history is centered in World War II where alignment of a dire demand for high octane gasoline and acceptance of risk catapulted early concepts of a powdered catalyst cracking process into a dominant catalytic cracking process in just a few short years. Finally, the evolutionary path to the modern FCCU is presented. History reveals that the developments leading up to the commercialization of FCCU and its later evolution can be attributed to many companies and individuals working to improve existing processes while accepting the risks and challenge associated with trying something new.
Phillip Niccum is Sr. Vice President of Process Engineering at KP Engineering. With over 38 years of engineering and management experience, Mr. Niccum has been granted 17 U.S. patents and authored dozens of publications for major industry conferences and trade journals. Prior to joining KPE, Mr. Niccum was Chief Technology Engineer and Director of FCC Technology at KBR where he spent 26 years of his career. Phillip began his engineering career with Texaco where he performed technical service and design work on Texaco FCC units after earning a BS in Chemical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University.