Project Synopsis

Develop an FEL-1 preliminary process design of a process that recovers precious metals from spent catalytic converters.

Project Summary

Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client, an international process engineering and design company, to develop a preliminary FEL-1 process design scaled up from an operating pilot-plant system for the ultimate client, a precious metals processing company.  This batch process uses an aqueous solution to leach precious metals (platinum and palladium) from crushed catalytic converter material which are then recovered by electro-winning. The new system was designed to accommodate future process refinements which might include variations in temperature, pH, additive concentration, etc.

The following process design tasks were completed for this project:

  • Process design basis preparation
  • Development of heat and material balances using both CHEMCAD and OLI Flowsheet simulation software
  • Process flow diagram (PFD) preparation
  • Preliminary layout drawing preparation
  • Alternative evaluations of key unit operations
  • Utility and emission summaries
  • Preliminary sized equipment list development
  • Preliminary cost estimate preparation.

The client is currently moving to further plans for construction of the new process.

Industry Type

Precious Metals Recovery and Recycling  

Utilized Skills

  • FEL-1 preliminary process design
  • Scale up design from pilot to commercial
  • Process simulation.

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