Catalysts play an important role in producing valuable fuel products in petroleum refining; but, due to feedstock’s impurities catalyst gets deactivated with carbon and metal deposition. The disposal of spent catalyst falls under the category of hazardous industrial waste that requires strict agreement with environmental regulations. The spent hydroprocessing catalyst contains Mo, V and Ni at high concentrations that have been found to be economically significant for recovery. Metal recovery process includes deoiling, decoking, grinding, dissolving and treatment with complexing leaching agent such as ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA). The process conditions have been optimized as a function of time, temperature and EDTA concentration in presence of ultrasonic agitation. The results indicated that optimum condition established through this approach could recover 97%, 94% and 95% of the extracted Mo, V and Ni, respectively, while 95% EDTA was recovered after acid treatment.
The process of post-supercritical CO2 electroplating uses the electrolyte solution after being mixed with supercritical CO2 and released to atmospheric pressure. It utilizes the microbubbles that form when oversaturated CO2 in the electrolyte returns to gaseous state, which gives the similar effect of pulsed electroplating. Under atmospheric pressure, the CO2 bubbles gradually diffuse. Therefore, the introduction of ultrasound and/or other agitation can potentially excite the CO2 microbubbles to achieve an electroplated surface of even higher quality. In this study, during the electroplating process, three different modes of agitation: magnetic stirrer agitation, ultrasonic agitation and a combined mode (magnetic + ultrasonic) were applied, respectively, in order to obtain an optimal surface morphology and mechanical properties for the electroplated Ni coating. It is found that the combined agitation mode at a current density of 40 A/dm2 achieved the smallest grain size, lower surface roughness, and produced an electroplated Ni layer that achieved hardness of 320 HV, much higher when compared with conventional method, which were usually in the range of 160 to 300 HV. However, at the same time, the electroplating with combined agitation developed a higher internal stress of 320 MPa due to the lower current efficiency of the process and finer grain in the coating. Moreover, a new control methodology for tailoring the coating’s mechanical property through its thickness was demonstrated by the timely introduction of ultrasonic agitation during the electroplating process with post supercritical CO2 mixed electrolyte.