Which Filtration Products are Used for Catalyst Recovery?

June 6, 2023

Catalyst Montage

Catalyst recovery is a general term used to describe the process of recovering and recycling catalysts used in various chemical processes. Although catalysts are generally deployed to accelerate chemical reaction rates without being consumed, they are susceptible to catalytic deactivation due to a number of factors, including carbon deposition, poisoning, fouling, leaching, sintering, and thermal degradation. Given that it would be commercially and environmentally unsustainable if critical catalysts could only be used once, significant effort goes into separating catalysts from reaction mixtures to ensure they can be effectively reused in numerous processing cycles. This isn’t a simple procedure, however.

Methods of Catalyst Recovery

Catalyst recovery can be carried out using various methods depending on the type of catalyst used. This article will focus primarily on heterogeneous catalysts which can be recovered using traditional methods of separation like extraction, filtration, vacuum distillation, or centrifugation.

Benefits of Filtration for Heterogeneous Catalysts

Filtration is the preferred method of recycling heterogeneous catalysts because it allows for easy catalyst recovery. It is based on the very simple principle of exploiting the chemical or physical differences between the components of a reaction mixture. Various filtration products are useful in heterogeneous catalyst recycling:

  • Leaf Filters: Traditionally used for the recovery of the catalyst in process filtration systems, leaf filters provide a simple and efficient means of separation.
  • Porous Sintered Metal Tubes: Modern filtering technology using porous sintered metal tubes provides superior filtration (less than 1 ppm) in catalyst recovery applications.
  • Catalyst Recovery Systems: These systems consist of filter housings, special filter elements, back purging mechanisms, control panels, and other instrumentation. They can be offered in various materials like SS-304, SS-316, SS-316L, Duplex steels, carbon steel, and alloy metal.
  • Precious Metal Catalyst Filters: These filters are used for the removal of palladium-on-carbon (Pd-on-C), platinum-on-carbon, Raney Nickel, and rhodium catalyst filtration, as well as polymer or resin product polishing.

Enhance Your Catalyst Recovery Process with Agitated Nutsche Filter Dryers (ANFD)

In recent years, process optimisation efforts have led specialised companies to explore the use of Agitated Nutsche Filter Dryers (ANFD) as alternative methods for catalyst recovery processes. ANFDs offer numerous advantages, such as pressurised vessels that enable inertion, back pulse approaches, and high-pressure filtrations. Additionally, the presence of an agitator in these systems aids in filtration steps, keeping filtering elements clear of product build-up and reducing cake filtration effects.

The agitator in ANFDs can also be employed for further treatment, such as washes, by facilitating the re-slurry process. Built-in heating zones allow for temperature treatment of isolated solids, contributing to more efficient catalyst recovery. Furthermore, ANFDs provide ease of scaling up from small-scale to larger-scale operations, as well as the addition of automation control for seamless process management. Another key benefit of ANFDs is their ability to function as a confined closed system, offering enhanced operator safety during the unloading of final products.

ANFDs by Powder Systems Ltd (PSL) are designed to meet the rigorous demands of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Our state-of-the-art filter dryers offer efficient and reliable performance, minimising product loss and ensuring optimal catalyst recovery.

Key benefits of ANFD technology include:

  • Improved productivity with reduced drying times
  • Enhanced safety with containment and inert gas features
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance for reduced downtime
  • Customisable designs to suit specific process requirements

Learn more about the performance capabilities of our systems in our blog post 5 Critical Features of a Nutsche Filter Dryer. If you would like to learn how our Agitated Nutsche Filter Dryers can enhance catalyst recovery processes with unparalleled efficiency, safety, and reliability, simply contact a team member today.