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Plasma system to recover catalyst PGMs in Japan

Japan – UK-based Tetronics – a specialist in the use of direct current plasma in recycling plants for the treatment of hazardous waste and metal recovery – has been selected by Japan’€™s Furuya Metal to supply a new system for the reclamation of platinum group metals (PGMs) from spent catalysts.

The contract award is based on Tetronics’€™ previous experience in the delivery of metal recovery solutions specifically designed for the recovery of PGMs from catalyst wastes, says Furuya. Preparations for the project are under way and the plant is scheduled to be delivered to Japan in early 2013. Following extensive due diligence, including test work at its UK trials facility, the plant will allow technical recovery rates in excess of 98% from waste catalysts – including automotive catalytic converters and industrial catalysts from the chemical and petrochemical industries, according to Tetronics.

The plasma specialist claims the principal advantages of its patented plasma technology are that it couples the highest technical recovery/operational flexibility with the lowest environmental impacts and cost base. The process chemistry in its plasma waste recovery technology is designed to smelt and preferentially separate the precious metals from the less valuable material, which is vitrified into an inert, safe reusable product – called Plasmarok – in a single processing step. The technology will also destroy any hazardous organic material, such as dioxins, that may be contained within the waste material. 

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