Recovery of Catalyst Vapors From Foundry Cold Box Core Machines

EPA Contract Number: 68D99057
Title: Recovery of Catalyst Vapors From Foundry Cold Box Core Machines
Investigators: Morisato, Atsushi
Small Business: Membrane Technology and Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through March 1, 2000
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Metal casting operations produce air streams containing 0.5 to 5 volume percent of various catalyst vapors. The source of these streams is the exhaust from cold box core machines. These streams are a serious pollution problem and are produced at 3,000 U.S. foundries. They also are a significant resource recovery opportunity because a large foundry may release catalyst vapors with a potential annual value of $200,000 to $500,000. The overall objective of this project is to develop a membrane process to recover and recycle the catalyst vapors. In favorable cases, the process can achieve simple payback times from the value of the recovered catalyst of 1 to 2 years. The focus of the Phase I research is to develop a suitable membrane for the process and to analyze the technical and economic feasibility of the process based on the membrane properties determined by permeation experiments with air/catalyst vapor feed gases.

If successfully developed, the process will be applied widely because current technology involves destruction of the catalyst vapors at a significant cost to plant operators. Initial users are likely to be foundries operating on a continuous basis, in which significant amounts of catalyst could be recovered from a single machine. There are about 400 to 500 such large foundries in the United States and more overseas. The potential market in the United States is $90 million in these larger plants, with an industry-wide market of $200 to $300 million.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, pollution prevention, air emissions, engineering, EPA., Scientific Discipline, Air, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, air toxics, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, cost reduction, air pollutants, waste reduction, membrane technology , industrial emissions, recovery, emissions, air pollution, catalysts, industrial air pollution, innovative technology, innovative technologies, air emissions, pollution prevention

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Recovery of Catalyst Vapors From Foundry Cold Box Core Machines  | Final Report