Autoclave Processing of Alumina–Platinum–Rhenium Catalysts
O. V. Belousov
, L. I. Dorokhova
, and S. N. Mamonov
Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Gulidov Krasnoyarsk Nonferrous Metals Plant, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Received July 9, 2009
Abstract—Platinum and rhenium were co-recovered from deactivated KR series alumina–platinum–rhenium
catalysts via treatment with alkaline solutions at temperatures within 120–180ºC under reducing hydrothermal
ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2010, Vol. 83, No. 6, pp. 1086–1088. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text © O.V. Belousov, L.I. Dorokhova, S.N. Mamonov, 2010, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2010, Vol. 83, No. 6, pp. 1032–
Catalysts comprising one or several catalytically
active metals, in particular platinum group metals,
most often contain alumina as support material. The
waste generated by production of these catalysts, as
well as the spent materials, needs to be processed for
recovering valuable components .
The known processing methods for such catalysts
consist in either dissolution of the support or
conversion of valuable components into dissolved
form without decomposition of the support.
Deactivated alumina–platinum–rhenium catalysts
hold much significance as secondary sources of
valuable components, platinum and rhenium. These
elements are persistently demanded, which is due
mainly to ever-growing consumption by petrochemical
industry. The platinum and rhenium recovery from
spent alumina–platinum–rhenium catalysts is widely
covered in literature. A detailed analysis of the existing
methods for processing deactivated platinum–rhenium
catalysts is provided in .
Among the diversified methods used for platinum
and rhenium recovery, the dominant position belongs
to exhaustive breakdown of the alumina support under
alkali exposure conditions. For example, Novikov
et al.  proposed a technique for the catalyst processing
by sintering at 460–600ºC. Borbat et al.  developed
a procedure for preparing KR-110 catalyst with the use
of return platinum and rhenium resulted from sintering
with alkali in a reducing medium, without separation.
Alkaline decomposition of the alumina matrix is
effected not only by sintering but also by treating
deactivated catalysts with sodium hydroxide solutions
in autoclaves .
Here, we developed a hydrothermal procedure for
platinum and rhenium recovery from deactivated
alumina–platinum–rhenium catalysts with alkaline
Spent alumina–platinum–rhenium catalyst was
preliminarily ground. The X-ray phase analysis (XPA)
showed that the main phase in the deactivated catalyst
; the diffraction lines were strongly
broadened. Platinum and rhenium amounts in the
deactivated catalyst were estimated at 0.33 ± 0.02 and
0.18 ± 0.01 wt%, respectively, by the technique
described in .
We preliminarily found that the ground catalyst was
hygroscopic, but this did not interfere with breakdown
in alkaline solutions. At the same time, the platinum
content in the catalyst stored in air would be
underestimated because of water sorption. For this
reason, the ground and screened catalyst was stored in
a tightly closed container over drying agents.
Our experiments were carried out in laboratory
titanium autoclaves equipped with Teflon liners whose
design was described in detail in . Weighed portions
of the catalyst, sodium hydroxide, and water were
charged into the Teflon liner. The autoclave was
hermetically sealed and placed into an air thermostat.
The autoclave content was stirred by rotating the