AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group, Shell Catalysts & Technologies form catalyst recycling joint venture

The joint venture will provide a long-term sustainable solution for catalyst reclamation and recycling

Dr Heinz C Schimmelbusch, chairman and CEO of AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group.
Dr Heinz C Schimmelbusch, chairman and CEO of AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group.

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group and Shell Catalysts & Technologies have signed an agreement to form a joint venture, which will be called Shell & AMG Recycling.  The joint venture will provide a long-term sustainable solution for catalyst reclamation and recycling.

Dr Heinz C Schimmelbusch, chairman and CEO of AMG, said: “AMG has developed a world-leading spent-catalyst recycling technology and we are very pleased to be able to form this joint venture and thereby significantly expand and deepen our 17-year relationship with Shell. With the implementation of the IMO 2020 fuel sulphur 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 monetisation of the valuable metals contained in their waste.

The process employed by Shell & AMG Recycling 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 joint venture will operate outside of North America and is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

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