SiCAT - Metal recovery from SiC based auto catalysts
Purpose and goal
The project aims to study the inflow of raw material into an industrial plant and to optimize the entire process flow, from receiving raw materials until it has been fed into the melting process. The project has included tests and performance evaluation with the main purpose of eliminating bottlenecks in a future industrial facility. Specific goal is to recycle the maximum proportion of platinum group metals from the input material with minimal handling- and time losses and to utilize experience from pilot trials in the design and construction of the full-scale plant.
Expected results and effects
The pilot trials show results that have been important to future design of full scale installations, including surface/volume ratios affecting temperature and agitation. The hypothesis to reduce the material to 0.1% carbon has been reevaluated to process material with up to 1% carbon. This saves time and energy. According to mass balances made, the important metals have been recycled to 54 and 110% respectively in the pilot trials. We do not believe that this concerns physical access or loss of raw materials. There are shortcomings in the analysis process that must be further evaluated.
Planned approach and implementation
The material flow into the process was first mapped. We identified possible pre-treatment requirements and established a requirement specification for material handling throughout the entire chain from receipt to feeding into the smelting process. Design proposals were then presented and tested in two pilot scale test runs with different main focuses. After the tests, the results have been evaluated and mass balances have been produced. The results shall form the basis for the final design of how material handling and logistics are to be carried out in an industrial facility.