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Recovery of Nickel from Spent Ni/Al2O3 Catalysts using Acid Leaching, Chelation and Ultrasonication

Author Affiliations

  • 1Chemical Engineering Department, Institute Of Technology, Nirma University, Ahmedabad–382 481, INDIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 1, Issue (ISC-2011), Pages 434-443, (2012)


Supported nickel catalysts, containing 2.5% to 20% of nickel metal, are widely used in chemical industry for hydrogenation, hydrotreating, and steam-reforming reaction. These catalysts have specific life and are subsequently discarded due to its deactivation owing to coke deposition on its surface. Disposal of spent catalyst is a problem as it falls under the category of hazardous industrial waste and also it requires compliance with stringent environmental regulations. Also the cost and demand of nickel has been rising significantly. In this context recovery of nickel can serve both of the important issues. This review cum research work focuses on the recovery of nickel from spent nitrogenous catalyst using conventional acid leaching & chelation route and a novel technique Ultrasonication developed & implemented successfully by the authors. Using ultrasonication technique significantly faster recovery of nickel salt (50 minutes) was accomplished compared to chelation route (7-8 h) and acid leaching (5-6 h). The %recovery and purity is significantly high for ultrasonication route compared to conventional acid leaching and chelation technique. The recovered nickel salts can be recycled for the preparation of fresh catalysts and promises to be a good industrial process for handling 1-2 t per batch of spent nickel catalyst.


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