James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Title: Chemical Engineer, Retired Registered Professional Engineer in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Ohio and Illinois
Company: Technical Consulting
Location: Gillette, Wyoming, United States

James P. Frederick, Chemical Engineer at a Private Practice, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in technology.

Mr. Frederick knew when he was a sophomore in high school what he wanted to pursue as a career. He had to write a paper on what he wanted to be and knowing that he always liked chemistry, and being an explorer, he did the paper on becoming an engineer. He never changed his mind and stuck with it. It was unusual to pick his career in English class on a paper, but that is what worked for him. Mr. Frederick earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Montana State University in 1968.

Mr. Frederick began his engineering career at Shell M working primarily on natural gas processing projects. During this first 16-year period, he also was assigned responsibilities at two R&D projects. The first one was a chemical injection scheme and the second was a thermal recovery pilot plant. In 1977, Shell entered the coal business with the purchase of coal reserves around the U.S. Mr. Frederick voluntarily accepted a transfer to the mining division where he had responsibility on three large (>100MM) coal projects.  Upon completion of these projects in 1985, Mr. Frederick was assigned to the Western mining operations with the unique objective of finding a technology that would enhance the value of western coal.

After a couple years of studies and testing, Mr. Frederick recommended partnering with SGi International to focus on developing the liquids from the coal process. Shell accepted the challenge, including submitting a proposal to the U.S. Department Of Energy under the Clean Coal Technology program. ENCOAL, a 100 percent Shell subsidiary, was formed to carry out the process demonstration and commercialization. The ENCOAL project was selected in 1990 under the direction of Mr. Frederick, and ENCOAL designed, built and operated a 1,000 TPD plant. The plant met all of its objectives, including the evaluation of numerous domestic and foreign coals. In its five years of operation, the plant produced, delivered and consumed in an open market 17 unit trains of upgraded coal and more than 5,000,000 gallons of oil. Although a technical success, the liquids rom technology could not compete with the production technologies that were developed in the early 2000s.

ENCOAL Corporation went through a series of ownership changes following the sale of Shell’s coal division to Zeigler Coal. The ownership trail was Shell (1992); Zeigler (1997); Horizon (1998); Addington (1999); SGI (2000); MR&E (2002); KFx (2005) and MR&E (2015). Mr. Frederick and his team stayed intact despite the funding challenges and there was a significant amount of interest overseas in pursuing the technology. Mr. Frederick and his team worked with the following companies extensively: Mitsubishi (Japan); Dataang Power and Shen Hu Mining (China); APEL (Australia) and Indonesian and Russian government agencies. The economics remained the obstacle until all project activity ended in 2015.

Mr. Frederick had one more go at new technology in 2015 when he and a small group of engineers evaluated a promising process that could drastically reduce the cost and hazards of shipping LNG and CNG. They nearly completed their evaluation of the project before it mired down in funding problems. With that, Mr. Frederick retired in 2018.

Mr. Frederick was an active member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and U.S. Handball Association, a game which he played for 49 years. His hobbies include electric trains, records and music. He belonged to the Train Collectors Association and the Lionel Collectors Club. To attest to his legacy, Mr. Frederick is also listed in the second edition of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.

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Lifetime Achievement Award

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