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Method for Nickel removal and for regeneration of used Nickel-based catalysts

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237602D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 81K

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Method for Nickel removal and for regeneration of used Nickel-based catalysts

The proposition is a technique to valorize used deactivated Ni catalyst by an innovative regeneration / recycling method. This method called “metal carbonyl method” or carbonylation for Ni recovery is also in line with a “green demarche” taking into account environment protection and regulations regarding heavy metal disposal.

By using the regeneration process, one can remove the nickel on and in the catalyst, especially when the catalyst is prepared by impregnation techniques and when the active layer is coated on a substrate. Thin foils of nickel metals are recovered and can be either valorized directly or can be further dissolved for re-impregnation of the catalyst.

The process can be especially applied to microreactors or to microchannel reactors, when it is necessary to replace the active phase without the need of changing the whole reactor.

In today’s gas synthesis processes, catalysts (mostly pellets) are loaded in reactors by simple filling procedures, eventually adapted to control the catalyst arrangement, the homogeneity of the loading density. Catalysts are removed either by gravity or by suction. However it is not so easy to handle catalyst removal in microchannel reactors, where the catalyst is deposited on the reactor walls. Today, lifetime of microchannel reactors is associated to the deactivation rate of catalyst deposited on it. Although the reactor is far more resistant than the catalyst itself, both are changed when the catalyst is deactivated. Very few techniques are reported to remove and replace catalysts in washcoated microchannel reactors.We also propose to solve the main issue of the use of microchannel reactors, i.e. catalyst replacement.

We propose to use one of the metal removal techniques described in the literature as “metal carbonyl method”. This method has been adapted to our catalysts and processes and can be used to recover nickel either for conventional catalyst pellets or for microreactors washcoated with Ni-containing catalysts.

Metal removal processes are often used in FCC catalyst regeneration where the main cause of deactivation is the pollution with heavy metals such as Ni, S, or V.

Most of techniques consist of three main stages:

i) production of hydrosoluble metallic components from metal/metal oxide treatment,

ii) dissolution of these component in acidic solution,

ii) metals recovery from these solutions.

Usually, demetallization processes are dealing with hazardous chemicals such as chlorine, hydrogen sulfide and strong acids. New developments enable to reduce the amount of species of hazardous chemicals used in demetallization processes.

We  propose to overcome with our method:

i)                    multi-step metal recovery,

ii)                  problem of selectivity

iii)                use of hazardous chemicals such as chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, strong acids,

iv)                aqueous washing of the catalyst which can displace catalytic materials irreversibly (i.e...