Chemical industry

In the manufacture of products and intermediates in the chemical, petrochemical and flavours and fragrance sectors, large volumes of precious metal catalysts are used.  These often form waste streams which are both difficult and valuable. 

Tailor made service

Mastermelt has the knowledge and experience to provide tailored reclamation and recycling services that optimises precious metal recoveries from waste, returning significant value and supporting customers with their environmental and social governance (ESG) commitments. Our services are suitable for the treatment of small scale (R&D and pilot) through to multi-tonnage production campaigns.

Sustainable metal recycling for the chemical industry

Mastermelt partner with various companies in many chemical sectors to provide a sustainable recycling and metal loop reclamation service that optimises metal recovery, enables the reuse of valuable metals, and improves cash flow.

How can metal be recovered from chemical waste streams?

Controlled thermal pre-treatment is the most effective way to recover precious metals from heterogeneous catalyst waste. The use of homogeneous catalysts in some industries, such as flavours and fragrances, has led Mastermelt to develop innovative solutions including distillation and metal scavenger recovery systems to capture precious metals.

What materials from the chemical industry can be recycled?

Palladium and Rhodium are key precious metals used in the chemical industry, which are found in numerous waste streams from chemical processing: 

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What is the process for reclaiming metal from chemical industries?

No two waste streams are alike; we evaluate each material type on a case-by-case basis to establish the most effective processing route to maximise precious metal recoveries.  We have a particular interest in recycling metal from difficult materials and utilise the capabilities of our state-of the-art instrumentation and specialists in precious metal chemistry and recovery.


Understanding your process is important, as this will help determine the treatment route and matrix effects, such as any residual solvents and any base metals present. 


How you pre-treat waste streams such as steam treatments, washing to remove solvents and nitrogen purging will also help to define the treatment method required, as well as the type of filtration system/media or other methods you use to collect and isolate spent catalyst waste streams.

Researcher from chemical industry holding glassware with solutions

The process for reclaiming metals from chemical manufacturing comprises:


Efficient and expedient processing of large volumes of the waste stream, underpinned by performance benchmarking, resulting in industry leading precious metal returns.


When the performance benchmarks have been met, our production technicians look to optimise the throughput of the material, using Mastermelt’s unique processing equipment and operating methods to increase the throughput.


Knowing the benchmark envelope will enable the maximum amount of precious metal recovery companies. This will be measured by our class leading sampling and analysis techniques.


A full report is generated and sent to the customer to gain agreement. Metal can be transferred to your catalyst suppliers account to be used to manufacture fresh catalyst or priced on the London metal market as per your instruction.

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TFS support

Transportation of chemical waste streams often requires a Transfrontier Shipment Notification (TFS) due to the hazardous classifications. Mastermelt’s Regulatory team can assist with this process.

The Circular Economy of Catalyst Processing

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To arrange a process audit with one of our Technical Sales Managers Contact us.