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Mining industrial catalysts for precious metals

Catalyst recycling

Working with Veolia colleagues across Europe and the United States, we have developed an innovative technology to recover valuable metals from disused industrial catalysts.

A catalyst is a substance that aids chemical changes in other substances. Many of the catalysts used in petrochemical and car industry contain precious metals.

For example, catalytic converters in cars use platinum, rhodium and palladium to convert the harmful pollutants in vehicle emissions into carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour.

These precious metals have a significant environmental footprint. They are relatively rare and difficult to mine because the process required to extract and refine them is complex.

Using our global expertise, we are trialling techniques to help harvest the valuable metals from spent catalysts for clients in the oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical sectors and so far the project has generated circa £1.8 million in revenue.

In addition to recovering the metal, our processes are designed to remove contaminants. By doing this, we are not only conserving natural resources, but we're also helping our clients further reduce their environmental impact by maximising the amount of valuable metal we reclaim.