Biography – Robert W. (Bob) Soffel

Robert W. (Bob) Soffel (June 1948 – Present)

Is a Chemical Engineer and business owner, specializing in the field of Adsorption Process Engineering for the removal of potentially harmful elements and compounds in the petrochemical field, through the use of selective adsorbents.


Born in Manhattan, NY after WWII, and raised in Eastchester, NY, Robert graduated from Eastchester High School in 1966 and enrolled in Worcester Polytechnic Institute to major in Chemical Engineering. Following his graduation from WPI, Robert enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1970 where he served in the Quartermaster Corps, Petroleum Products Analysis division, attaining the rank of Specialist-5th class. Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1973, Robert began work at the Union Carbide Corporation in Research & Development as a Development Engineer in Activated Carbon. After obtaining his MBA from Baldwin Wallace College, Robert began a career path that took him into market analysis & technology and process licensing. While working at Alcoa Separations Technology, Robert advanced to manager of marketing & technical service, where he developed domestic & international business for adsorbents & catalysts. After working at Welchem Inc. (a subsidiary of Amoco Chemical) and Elf Atochem North America, Robert decided to form his own company. In 1995 Robert formed a company based on the adsorption process engineering & marketing knowledge he had gained throughout his career in the fields of adsorption technologies, natural gas processing, oil refining & petrochemical production, which he named Selective Adsorption Associates, Inc.

Marketing and Business

Robert Soffel has spent most of his career working with adsorbents: adsorption R&D, adsorption system design & field engineering; sales of adsorption products, equipment, and systems. It is quite typical for people that have worked in adsorbents to spend their entire career with just one type of adsorbent, such as activated carbon. Robert’s experience is unusual because he has worked with a wide range of adsorbent types, applications and client industries. His experience includes: activated aluminas, activated carbons, molecular sieve zeolites, chemisorbents, SulfaTreat®, and mercury adsorbents. Bob has provided on-site adsorption technical service in the USA & many other countries, serving clients in: oil refining, ethylene production, natural gas processing (LPG recovery) & liquefaction (LNG production), chlorine production, mercury recycling, and fluorescent lamp manufacturing & recycling.

Current Career

Robert is the President of Selective Adsorption Associates, Inc., (SAAI) which he founded in 1995 to provide Adsorption Process Engineering and Adsorbent Sales to the Process Industries, worldwide. Robert’s company, SAAI, specializes in designing adsorption systems to remove mercury and other contaminants to extremely low levels from water, air, hydrogen, hydrocarbon gases, & hydrocarbon liquids, which it continues to do today.


B.S. Chemical Engineering, 1970, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts

M.B.A., Systems Management, 1976, Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, Ohio


French, Spanish


U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, Technical Instructor, Spectrometric Oil Analysis, Petroleum Products Analysis, Ft. Lee, Virginia, DoD EOAP, Rank SP/5 1970-1973 AWARDS: Glowing Gusher Award, 1972, Petroleum Dept., US Army Quartermaster Corps.

Early Career

Union Carbide Corporation: Development Engineer - Activated Carbon, 1973-78

Staff Engineer - Design & Field Technical Service – Molecular Sieve Dept., 1978-82

Market Analyst - Process Licensing, Process Plants, & Process Equip. – Engineering Products & Processes, 1982-84
Senior Engineer - Technology Licensing, Octane Improvement – Engineering Products & Processes, 1984-86

Later Career

Alcoa Separations Technology Inc: Technical Service Manager - Selective Adsorbents, 1986-88; Market & Technical Service Manager - Business Development, 1988-90; Marketing Manager - Adsorbents & Catalysts, 1990-91

Welchem Inc. (Subsidiary of Amoco Chemical - Process Chemicals): Marketing & Market Communications Manager, 1991-92

Elf Atochem North America, Inc.: Product Manager - Molecular Sieve, U.S., Canada, & Mexico, 1992-94

• Founded, Selective Adsorption Associates, 1995: President - Sales & Engrg Adsorbents & Adsorption Equipment; Consulting
Distributor for: MERSORB® mercury adsorbents; The SulfaTreat Company, NUCON® BRAYCYCLE™ Solvent Recovery Systems, & Custom Adsorbents, 1995-Present


"Activated Carbon," Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 3rd edition,1978.

“HF Alkylation,” co-author, Today’s Refinery magazine, July, 1994.

"Achieving Low Mercury Concentrations In Chlor-Alkali Wastewaters," Tonini, Gauvin, Soffel, & Freeman, Environmental Progress, Vol. 22. No. 3, Oct, 2003.

“Industrial Applications of Mercury Removal from Liquids & Gases,” A&WMA, June, 2005, Minneapolis, MN.

“An Introduction to Design of Mercury Removal Units for Hydrocarbon Gas Streams,” GasTech-CAIRO, December, 2010.

“The AntiMercure™ Process for Removing Mercury from WasteWater to Very Low Concentrations,” A&WMA, June, 2012.


AIChe - Member

ASTM - Member of Committee D-28.04 on Activated Carbon

Biography found in Marquis Who’s Who in Science & Engineering – 1998 (4th Ed.)

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