Through the eyes of the Resourcers

Interview of Elizabeth Cromwell-Keyes and George Brown - North America

Regenerated sulfuric acid helps the oil industry clean up its act

From powering our cars so we can get to work to the trucks that transport food to our stores, we are heavily reliant on gasoline. As demand for it continues to grow, the oil and gas industry is also under increasing pressure to clean-up its act and so at key stages in the production process many operators are becoming more sustainable. The regeneration (ReGen) of spent sulfuric acid is just one of these areas and by doing so the team is helping improve environmental standards – boosting everything from local biodiversity to air quality.   

Elizabeth Cromwell-Keyes
Maintenance Manager, Industrial Business, Regeneration Services
13-years on the site, has been working in Veolia since 2016

 We have time to do the job right - safety first!

George Brown
Principal Engineer, Industrial Business, Regeneration Services
23-years on the site,  has been working in Veolia since 2016

Actions speak louder than words - walk the walk, and talk the talk.

Describe your project in a few words?

Elizabeth Cromwell-Keyes

On the surface dealing with sulfuric acid doesn’t appear to be sustainable, but actually what we do is a circular economy best practice, as it helps reduce the carbon footprint of oil production which we all rely on.

George Brown

As the standards of gasoline production get stricter what we do helps’ our customers meet their environmental protection targets. What we offer is not only the best but the right solution, as this byproduct can be regenerated back into a highly usable product.

What positive impact have you made through the project?

Elizabeth Cromwell-Keyes

For me one of the key benefits is the impact we have locally on the Gulf Coast.

We’ve been involved with community projects and science fairs and we’re proactive in supporting local community meetings.

George Brown

By refining the acid we help increase the octane levels while lowering the vapor pressure levels in the gasoline.

This makes the fuel cleaner to burn and more efficient. This reduces smog, creating better air quality, and means cars get more miles to the gallon.

What obstacles did you have to overcome?

Elizabeth Cromwell-Keyes

As with all growing markets, there are always growing pains while we learn to keep up with demand.

The team has worked very hard but now the way we work has become more efficient.

George Brown

Our biggest obstacle has been Mother Nature. Weather in Louisiana is known to be troublesome, but it has been particularly bad.

At times it has proven difficult to literally lay the concrete foundations.

What’s stopped you from giving you?

Elizabeth Cromwell-Keyes
Working as a team to develop a game plan has helped keep us on track. We break it down into short timeframes with actionable targets.

George Brown

The challenge of the job, because as an engineer I find the work interesting. It makes me think and it certainly keeps me on my toes. When it’s no longer fun, then it will be a problem.

What was the highlight of the project for you?

Elizabeth Cromwell-Keyes

"Since the Veolia acquisition there has been a lot of investment in our ReGen business which has really changed the moral in the team. Being at the heart of the company’s strategic growth strategy has been the best thing for me."

George Brown

Veolia has really invested in us and that’s a great feeling. In business money only goes some of the way, which is why the time and investment in people is truly helping us retain and attract talent.

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