Waste recovery for petrochemical wastes - Chemical & Pharmaceuticals - Petrochemical

Traditionally, the Petrochemical Sector has operated with basic technological solutions, with ultimate reliance on High Temperature Incineration (HTI) and landfill in order to deal with their hazardous wastes. However, tightening regulation, increasing landfill costs and social responsibilities are driving companies to look at alternative methods of treatment of very challenging wastes, including the treatment of:

  • Spent zeolite catalyst materials used in Residue Fluidised Catalytic Cracking (RFCC) units.
  • General oil waste including oily sludge/cakes from oil tank cleaning operations
  • Hazardous streams with heavy metal contamination and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), e.g. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Hexachlorobenzene (HCB).

How Tetronics can help unlock value from this process

Treatment of petrochemical wastes using Tetronics’ technology offers commercial advantage over existing waste management options whilst reducing landfill liabilities and ensuring the conservation of natural resources.

Oil sludge generated during oil tank cleaning operations.

This ultimate waste arising, after all physically recoverable organics have been extracted, is supplied to Tetronics’ waste recovery plants to allow the controlled combustion of the organic waste components to form a fuel gas and vitrification of the inorganic waste components to form Plasmarok®. The oxidation of the hydrocarbon content is controlled to limit the demand for primary electrical power, while providing an off‐gas of sufficient calorific value to allow for viable waste heat recovery.

RFCC (Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracking)

RFCC uses zeolite catalyst to treat heavy residual oils from crude distillation units and convert them into lighter, more valuable hydrocarbons such as LPG, gasoline and light cycle oil products. During treatment, the catalyst becomes contaminated with heavy metals producing a hazardous waste. Tetronics’ technology treats contaminated zeolite catalyst so that the hazardous components are destroyed and/or immobilised while producing Plasmarok and a base metal alloy as recovered by‐products suitable for reuse.


Tetronics technology destroys PCBs and other types of Persistent, Bio‐accumulative, and Toxic (PBT) pollutants at very high Destruction & Reduction Efficiencies (DREs), above 99.9999%, across a wide range of concentrations. Tetronics treats these contaminated waste materials so that the pollutant is destroyed and the bulk material mass is recovered as a safe inert product for reuse at the same location, i.e. back‐fill for land remediation.

In all the above examples, the process chemistry in Tetronics’ waste recovery technology is designed to separate and destroy the hazardous components leaving a non‐hazardous material. The remaining material is an inert product called Plasmarok® that can be employed in a range of applications, such as a simple construction aggregate, enabling our customers to extract value from their waste and reduce landfill liabilities. The robust level of construction and minimal number of moving components delivers outstanding plant availability and longevity. The recovery process also has exceptional environmental and commercial credentials and can be considered as a future‐proof solution removing the business risk associated with unknown future landfill availability and disposal costs.