AMG, Shell Catalysts & Technologies to form jv for catalyst recycling

Amsterdam-headquartered critical materials company, AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group, and global catalysts specialist, Shell Catalysts & Technologies have signed an agreement to form a joint venture (jv), which will be called Shell & AMG Recycling BV.  The jv will provide a long-term sustainable solution for catalyst reclamation and recycling.

Read: Aramco, Shell/AMG to cooperate on catalyst recycling hub in Saudi Arabia

Dr Heinz C Schimmelbusch, Chairman & CEO of AMG, commented: “AMG has developed a world-leading spent-catalyst recycling technology.With the implementation of the IMO 2020 fuel sulfur regulation we expect significant spent-catalyst volume growth.  The end-to-end option that will be available to oil refineries will represent an outstanding CO2 reduction opportunity.”

Andy Gosse, President Shell Catalysts & Technologies said, “These changing regulations and an increased focus on oil to chemicals in our industry have significantly increased the number of residue-upgrading units already in operation, in construction or being planned.  With this opportunity comes the environmental challenge managing the large volume of catalysts that will be required.  Coupled with Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ existing offering, we will be able to deliver refiners the option of a truly circular solution, turning waste into value, replacing disposal with recycling and reuse, and significantly reducing pollution and emissions.”

Refineries will benefit from the combined technical capabilities and integrated resources of Shell & AMG Recycling by reducing the risk and cost of transporting and disposing of spent catalysts and eliminating the need to landfill.  In addition, they will benefit from the monetization of the valuable metals contained in their waste.

The process employed by the new company extracts critical materials, including vanadium, in the form of ferrovanadium from spent catalysts.  Ferrovanadium is an alloy which increases the strength of steel and is primarily used in infrastructure applications such as rebar or girders.  Through the reclamation of ferrovanadium from spent catalysts, steel manufacturers benefit from a low CO2 alternative compared to sourcing the vanadium through mining.

The jv will operate outside of North America and is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.