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Recovery of Nickel and Oil from Spent Nickel Hydrogenation Catalyst

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Organic Chemistry, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon-425 001, INDIA
  • 2The Institute of Science, 15, Madam Cama Road, Mumbai-400 032, INDIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 2, Issue (12), Pages 27-30, December,18 (2012)


Many industries make extensive use of hydrogenation nickel catalyst for conversion of fats into oil which creates large amount of spent catalysts containing environmentally hazardous and economically valuable metals. In the present study, a simple recovery process for nickel and oil from spent hydrogenation catalyst using hydrochloric acid leaching was described. Simultaneous recovery of nickel and oil varies with acid concentration, time, temperature and solid-liquid ratio. Under the optimum condition of leaching Viz. 4 N hydrochloric acid, 90C temperature, 1.10 gm/ml solid liquid ratio and 2 hrs reaction time, it was possible to recover 98.5% nickel along with 99.8% oil. Purification of this recovered leaching liquor was performed by adjusting pH of leach liquor containing nickel, iron, aluminium and calcium to 5.5 with sodium carbonate followed by addition of hydrogen peroxide for removal of iron and aluminium. Then ammonium oxalate was added, followed by dilute ammonia solution to neutralize the acid which precipitates calcium oxalate. To this resulting solution, required quantity of sodium carbonate was added to recover nickel as nickel carbonate which was found to be 99% pure.


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