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Case Study : Catalyst Recovery Contufilt

Loss of Precious Metal Pt/C Catalyst reduced

Surface filtration on candles gives excellent cake release and recovers maximum precious metal catalyst from hydrogenation reaction

The company is a Petrochemical Giant. They are one of the largest manufacturers of Cinnamic Alcohol, an ingredient used in fine and aromatic chemical manufacturing.

Lost time – process bottleneck

The company uses a High-pressure Hydrogentaor of 5 KL with 2-5% Pt/C Catalyst in the reaction mass. After every batch, the catalyst was filtered using a Sparkler filter.

After filtration, the catalyst was recycled to the next batch. The filtration process took more than 10 hours. The catalyst loss due to opening and closing of the press and manual handling was almost 40% per batch.

The filtration time was the main bottleneck in increasing production. Preparing the sparkler filter for the next operation took almost one shift, and many spillages happened. Manual handling was also a health hazard.

State of the art – CONTUFILT

Diva Envitec recommended the CONTUFILT – M closed system for effective filtration. A laboratory study was carried out; cake resistance was studied, and the system was designed to meet their filtration needs. The company decided to buy the Closed-loop system with a backwash system and Vacuum fused Asymmetric membrane candle filters made of Stainless steel media

Diva Envitec committed – to batch cycle time to reduce from 10 hours to 3 hours and the Catalyst losses to come down from 40% to 10%

Efficiency comes from expertise

The system out-performed its promise. The filtration got completed in less than 3 hours, saving the company 7 hours from their original process. They could now take two batches instead of one. The complete CONTUFILT system is a closed-loop, so they never have to open the system, and the used catalyst is recycled back to the Hydrogentaor effortlessly. Now the company has no catalyst spillage and waste saving in make-up losses every batch.The catalyst losses came to less than 2% in every batch.

The new system cost was recovered in 2 months.

The excellent performance of this closed-loop system has prompted the company to buy another system to filter Raney-Nickel Catalyst filtration. This needs an inert atmosphere due to its Pyrophoric nature.