An Experimental Approach for Developing an Antimony Pentafluoride Catalyst Recovery MethodEPA Contract Number: 68D40050
Title: An Experimental Approach for Developing an Antimony Pentafluoride Catalyst Recovery Method
Investigators: Hyatt, David E.
Small Business: Chemical and Metal Industries Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1994 through March 1, 1995
Project Amount: $55,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1994) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Perfluoroalkyl iodides (PFAIs) are members of a growing class of specialty fluorochemicals that are domestically available from E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Hoechst Celanese Corporation, PCR, Inc., and SCM Corporation. They generally serve as precursors to a wide range of products including thin membranes, plastics, floor care products, fire fighting surfactants, anesthetics, lubricants, and blood substitutes. DuPont alone annually generates as much as 40,000 pounds of hazardous waste during production of PFAIs primarily due to antimony pentafluoride (SbF5) spent catalyst. The spent catalyst is a complex mixture of fluorinated antimony and iodine adducts, high boiling PFAIs, and elemental iodine. It is extremely hazardous and corrosive and must first be neutralized before it is buried in a hazardous waste landfill. This neutralization process expands the mass of the hazardous waste to be landfilled by as much as 50%.
In their proposal, Chemical & Metal Industries, Inc., (C&MI) suggests a six month study aimed at characterization of spent catalyst residue and exploration of possible reclamation schemes for the active portion of the spent catalyst. It also proposes a method for recovery and recycle of iodine, the presence of which has been confirmed by preliminary observations. By implementing a recovery/recycle policy, C&MI expects to reduce the amount of solid waste generated during PFAI manufacture by 50-75%, depending on the nature of the recovered constituents.