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Recycling of Catalysts Containing Metals


Development of Ecologically Pure Processes for Metal-Containing Catalysts Processing of Chemical Enterprises and Mastering of the Alloys Production on their Base

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry
  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Belorussian State Polytechnic Academy, Belarus, Minsk

Supporting institutes

  • Belorussian State Technological University, Belarus, Minsk


  • International Centre of Research, Greece, Domicile\nUniversité de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France, Nice\nUSX Engineers & Consultants, USA, PA, Pittsburgh

Project summary

Hundred tons of spent catalysts are annually collected in chemical plants and oil refineries which are partially wasted or dispatched on the grounds for burial or supplied as raw material for integrated non-ferrous works, thus poisoning soil and environment. Annually it is stored more than 120 t of waste containing up to 25% Ni, Co, V, Mo, Cu, Cr, Zn etc. at “Azot” enterprise in Grodno, of which it is possible to extract up to 12 t Ni, 5 t Cr, 5 t V and 10 t of other metals with total cost about 175, 000 USD. Annual volume of metal-containing waste in Belarus is over 350 t, and annual volume of slime of galvanic baths is over 10 000 t.

The aim of the project is to establish in Belarus the unified center for metal-containing waste processing, organize the production of ferroalloys and alloying compositions of non- ferrous metal. A universal waste processing is used in USA. Its idea is in waste injection in a molten metal (Pat. 5759229. Method for recovering cobalt /manganese/ bromine values from residue containing used catalyst). (Pat. 5735932. Process for conversion of uranium oxide to uranium metal and uranium alloys).

But this method cannot be applied in Belarus due to high price of the plant (hundred thousands USD), high content of high-melting Al2O3 in the catalysts, complexity of automatic-control systems for process course as well as impossibility of metals separation in waste.

The project will allow:

1. To eliminate the removal of toxic catalysts and slimes of galvanic enterprises into grounds.

2. To supply Belarus almost entirely with ferroalloys which are used for alloys production.
3. To employ a number of scientists and experts.

The experts in the field of alloys with special properties (Prof. Dr. Ph Komarov O.S.), thermal physics and plasma thermodynamics (Prof. Dr. Ph. Svidunovich N.A.; Dr.Ph. Dulevich A.F), an expert in the field of nuclear physic Prof. Dr. G.A. Sharovarov and expert in the field of rocket materials Academician Prof. Dr. P. A. Vityaz will participate in this work. as well as a group of engineers and post-graduate students working in different fields of machine building will be employed in this project.

As a base for research work will be used the laboratories of BSTU, BSPA, SPI PM as well as the industrial equipment of powder metallurgy plant in Molodechno to check the technology. The last one submits the industrial areas for complex waste processing of catalysts and slimes of galvanic production.

The end result of the work is start-up of waste processing bay producing to 80 t of ferroalloys (FeCr, FeNi, FeMo, FeV, FeCo and FeW), as well as of order of 40 t Cu and Zn.

The total cost of the product will exceed 2 mln. USD. The further benefit is provided by ecological effect pertained to toxic waste accumulation discontinuation. The scientific significance of the project is in optimal processes design for enrichment and waste preparation as well as the technologies for reduction of metals from their oxides.

The project is well fitted with the aims and tasks of ISTC because it garants the employment of a number of scientists and experts and upon complect ion of the project and changing to self-repayment the created association can proceed with the works on process improvement of waste processing and the use of other waste for processing.

The calendar plan of the activities provides catalyst waste analysis, their systematization according to the groups and enrichment methods.

Furthermore the scientific-research works will be carried out on optimization of preparation method of every group for smelting and reduction methods of metals from oxides (carbothermy, silicathermy, aluminothermy). Next the request for proposal (RFP) of the bay will be developed and submitted, the bay will be designed, the equipment will be bought and installed. At final stage the processes control, putting of the equipment in operation and ecological examination of the industry will be carried out.

Collaborator's function resides in elaboration of joint design on catalyst processing, rendering of assistance in patent ability abroad, patenting of our know-how, providing a useful guide to pursuance of unique analysis of gases and materials, purchase of the devices and equipment, as necessary.

The collaborator will be, probably necessary to arrange the visits to the enterprises with the aim of an examination of advanced waste processing and expert opinion on ecological part of the project. The joint participation in symposiums on environmental problems is scheduled too.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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