The downturn in oil prices has caused many refiners to look at areas of the business where efficiency could be increased and / or savings made.
One of the areas under scrutiny is catalyst turnaround, including the loading of the new catalyst, discharge and recycling of the spent catalyst.
The recycling of spent catalyst is an area that for a long period of time had kept a very low profile. Metal prices were favourable and although returns were small in comparison to earnings from oil production, the spent material had a positive value, buyers were readily available and the disposal of the spent catalyst was not a cause for concern. However the importance of environmentally sound recycling options has grown significantly in recent years due to the pressure both legislatively and environmentally. National and international requirements for spent catalyst generators have forced refiners to comply with increasingly restrictive legislation.