Solid Wastes from Oil Refinery Transformed into Green Construction Products

Fluid catalytic cracking in an oil refinery uses a catalyst, such as an alumino-silicate zeolite, in the conversion of heavy hydrocarbons to light hydrocarbons. A small fraction of the catalyst is continually replaced with fresh catalyst to maintain activity. More than 400 tons of spent alumino-silicate equilibrium catalyst (spent e-cat) are generated daily in North America and more than 1,100 tons are generated worldwide. Most of this spent e-cat is disposed of in landfills (municipal and on-site facilities). ISGS researchers conducted tests to make construction products using solid waste e-cat from an oil refinery. Laboratory-scale and commercial-scale test runs have been completed successfully, and commercial-scale tests of engineering properties are in progress. An article describing the results, titled "Making fired bricks with spent equilibrium catalyst: A technical feasibility study," co-authored by M.-I. M. Chou, L.‑M. Chen, Y.C. Lai, and S.‑F.J. Chou, has been accepted by the Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management.