Journals →  Tsvetnye Metally →  2023 →  #2 →  Back

ArticleName Use of multicomponent phase diagrams of slag systems for recycling of spent automotive catalysts
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2023.02.07
ArticleAuthor Pakhomov R. A., Fokina S. B., Mushikhin E. A., Shcherbakov S. V.

Saint Petersburg Mining University, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

R. A. Pakhomov, Associate Professor, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
S. B. Fokina, Associate Professor, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
E. A. Mushikhin, Undergraduate Student, e-mail:


Kola MMC, Monchegorsk, Russia:
S. V. Shcherbakov, Chief Metallurgist at the Engineering Office


One of the largest reserves of precious metals includes metal-bearing waste, in particular spent automotive catalytic converters. They contain up to 0.3 wt % of platinum group metals (PGMs), which by dozens of times exceeds their concentration in mineral raw materials. Metallurgical processing of such type of materials helps tackle the issue of disposing of spent secondary raw materials by regenerating and recycling a part of PGMs. The paper considers a collector smelting process designed for primary metallurgical processing of spent automotive catalysts aimed at raising the concentration of PGMs in the catalytic mass by 1–2 orders. This technique helps consolidate PGMs into the melt. The process performance and efficiency are largely dictated by the composition and physical and chemical properties of the slag. This research focused on a spent ceramic catalytic converter containing a considerable amount of aluminium and silicon oxides. Indialite Mg2Al4Si5O18 is the basic constituent of the sample, while zirconium and cerium oxides (ZrO2, Ce2O3), as well as silicates BaMg8Al18Si18O72 and KMg4Al9Si9O36 are also present. The authors conducted a series of thermodynamic calculations to determine the solidus and liquidus of the material, and they established that even when an automotive catalyst is smelted in the temperature range of 1.700 to 2.000 oC, it won’t reach a completely molten state. This confirms that the sample in view contains some refractory components. A theoretical analysis of multicomponent phase diagrams of the Si – Al – Mg – Ca – Na – B – Zr – Ce – Ba – Fe – F – O type helped define molten slag systems that would be most suitable for testing, the theoretical liquidus temperature of which varies in the range of 700 to 1.400 oC. Having conducted a thermodynamic analysis that looked at the formation of liquid and solid phases depending on the process temperature, the authors established that when the smelting of the initial material takes place in the presence of fluxes, the melting point of the burden drops from 1.700 to 1.075–1.100 oC. The conducted experimental study showed that the practical melting point of an automotive catalyst is, on average, 100 to 300 oC higher than the predicted one, which can be attributed to the presence of hightemperature zirconium and cerium oxides in the initial material. The authors defined the compositions of slag systems for recycling ceramic catalysts with an optimum combination of such parameters as melting point and amount of fluxing agents: FeO – Al2O3 – SiO2; CaO – Al2O3 – SiO2; Na2O – B2O3 – Al2O3 – SiO2.

This research was funded through a subsidy for fulfilling Governmental Assignment No. FSRW-2020-0014 for research in 2021.

keywords Secondary raw materials, automotive catalyst, catalyst converter, platinum group metals, slags, collector

1. Aleksakhin A. V., Kirichenko A. S. Automotive catalysts as the main reserve for national and global production of secondary metals – platinoids. Russian Journal of Industrial Economics. 2013. No. 4. pp. 3–7.
2. Bobovich B. B., Savko A. P. Spent automotive catalysts as a rich source of secondary precious metals. Izvestiya MGTU “MAMI”. 2012. Vol. 2, No. 2. pp. 21–25.
3. Aleksandrova T. N., Konnor S. O. Processing of platinum group metal ores in Russia and South Africa: Current status and prospects. Zapiski Gornogo instituta. 2020. Vol. 244. pp. 462–473.
4. Palamarchuk R. S., Stepanov S. Yu., Khanin D. A., Antonov A. V., Zolotarev A. A. A comparison of platinum group minerals from the eluvial-deluvial placer and chromitites of the Svetly Bor clinopyroxenite-dunite massif (Middle Urals). Mineralogy. 2017. No. 4. pp. 37–50.
5. Ponomarenko T., Nevskaya M., Jonek-Kowalska I. Mineral resource depletion assessment: alternatives, problems, results. Sustainability. 2021. Vol. 13. 862.
6. Nikiforova V. S., Talovina I. V., Heide G. The secondary dispersion halos of platinum group elements and rare elements in rocks of the Vysotsky ore occurrence, Svetloborsky massif, Middle Urals. Advances in Raw Material Industries for Sustainable Development Goals. 2021. pp. 12–19.
7. Litvinenko V. Advancement of geomechanics and geodynamics at the mineral ore mining and underground space development. Geomechanics and Geodynamics of Rock Masses. 2018. Vol. 11. 851.
8. Kirichenko A. S. Automotive catalyst recycling: Important problems. Sovremennye problemy nauki i obrazovaniya. 2013. No. 3. pp. 43–54.
9. Aleksandrova T., Nikolaeva N., Afanasova A., Romashev A., Kuznetsov V. Selective disintegration justification based on the mineralogical and technological features of the polymetallic ores. Minerals. 2021. Vol. 11. 851.
10. Lvov V. V., Chitalov L. S. Modern trends in the design of comminution processes and equipment for non-ferrous metals ores. Tsvetnye Metally. 2020. No. 10. pp. 20–26. DOI: 10.17580/tsm.2020.10.03.
11. Saburbayeva L. Yu., Boduen A. Ya., Yu P. S., Ukraintsev I. V. Study of pressure oxidation and bacterial leaching efficiency as a method of refractory gold concentrate breakdown. IMPC 2018 — 29th International Mineral Processing Congress. 2019. pp. 2911–2921.
12. Ivanik S. A., Ilyukhin D. A. Extraction of elemental sulphur from goldbearing cakes by flotation. Zapiski Gornogo instituta. 2020. Vol. 242. pp. 202–208.
13. Kobylyanski A., Zhukova V., Petrov G., Boduen A. Challenges in processing copper ores containing sulfosalts. Scientific and Practical Studies of Raw Material Issues-Proceedings of the Russian-German Raw Materials Dialogue: A Collection of Young Scientists Papers and Discussion. 2019. 2020. pp. 120–126.
14. Zaytsev A. Yu. A systematic approach to the unit-cost-based substantiation of capital investment into gold ore deposits. Zapiski Gornogo instituta. 2019. Vol. 238. pp. 459–464.
15. Shipachev V. A. Method of selective extraction of palladium, platinum and rhodium out of concentrates. Patent RF, No. 2398898. Applied: 09.04.2009. Published: 10.09.2010. Bulletin No. 25.
16. Goryaeva N. G., Kononova O. N., Dostavalova N. B., Kachin S. V., Kholmogorov A. G. Method for palladium(II) extraction from dead catalyst. Patent RF, No. 2339712. Applied: 23.11.2006. Published: 27.11.2008. Bulletin No. 33.
17. Shipachev V. A., Gorneva G. A. Method of extraction of platinum and palladium from materials having porous base. Patent RF, No. 2221060. Applied: 21.01.2002. Published: 10.01.2004.
18. Komozin P. N., Myasoedova G. V., Shcherbinina N. I., Soloviev A. S., Kolobov S. S. et al. Method for isolation of platinum metals from mineral-basis secondary material. Patent RF, No. 2089636. Applied: 15.03.1996. Published: 10.09.1997.
19. Selina E. A., Kalyakin S. N., Belousov O. V., Belousova N. V. A process for recycling deactivated catalytic converters. Zhurnal Sibirskogo federalnogo universiteta. Tekhnika i tekhnologii. 2013. No. 6. pp. 285–293.
20. Byung-Su Kim, Jae-chun Lee, Seung-Pil Seo, Young-Koo Park, Hong Yong Sohn. A Process for extracting precious metals from spent printed circuit boards and automobile catalysts. JOM. 2004. Vol. 56. pp. 55–58.
21. Antonov A. A., Morozov A. V., Novikov A. A., Sapelkin V. S. A method for electrowinning noble metals. Patent RF, No. 2540251. Applied: 26.02.2014. Published: 10.02.2015. Bulletin No. 4.
22. Akhmetov R. R., Chukhlovin A. N. Method of extraction of platinoids from spent automotive catalysts. Patent RF, No. 2531333. Applied: 25.06.2012. Published: 29.10.2014. Bulletin No. 29.
23. Kirichenko A. S., Seregin A. N. Method of processing of catalysts containing platinum metals on aluminium oxide carriers. Patent RF, No. 2553117. Applied: 20.05.2013. Published: 10.06.2015. Bulletin No. 16.
24. Devyatykh E. A., Devyatykh T. O., Shvydkiy V. S. Extraction of precious metals from catalysts in plasma furnaces. Heat Engineering and Computer Science in Education, Science and Production: Proceedings of the 6th National Russian Conference among Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Young Researchers (TIM’2017) with International Participants. Yekaterinburg, 11–12 May 2017. Yekaterinburg : UrFU, 2017. pp. 32–35.
25. Kirichenko A. S. Efficiency rise of pyrometallurgical processing of wasted automotive catalysts using Fe-based metal collector. Chernye Metally. 2017. No. 11. pp. 59–63.
26. Kirichenko A. S., Nekhamin S. M., Samotaev N. N., Antonov A. A. A new technique behind deposition of platinum, palladium and rhodium on a ferrous metal collector. Metallurg. 2020. No. 5. pp. 65–69.
27. Ter-Oganesyants A. K., Anisimov N. N., Kotukhova G. P., Glazkov V. B. Method of complex reworking of decontaminated platinum-rhenium catalysts. Patent RF, No. 2261284. Applied: 09.09.2003. Published: 27.09.2005. Bulletin No. 27.
28. Kuznetsov A. P., Korotkov V. A., Ostapchuk I. S. Method for obtaining concentrate of precious metals from products of ore processing and secondary raw materials. Patent RF, No. 2673590. Applied: 12.07.2017. Published: 28.11.2018. Bulletin No. 34.
29. Bale C. W., Bélisle E., Chartrand P., Decterov S. A., Eriksson G. FactSage thermochemical software and databases, 2010–2016. Calphad. 2016. Vol. 55. pp. 35–53.
30. Levin E. M., Robbins C. R., McMurdie H. F. Phase diagrams for ceramists. The American Ceramic Society, Columbus, Ohio. 1964. p. 601.

Language of full-text russian
Full content Buy