Petroleum refinery uses many catalysts such as hydroprocessing catalyst HPC, fluid catalytic cracking catalyst FCCC, reforming catalyst RC, etc. During the refining processes, the catalysts are deactivated; the spent catalysts are regarded as hazardous toxic materials due to heavy metals, coke, other poisonous compounds, and hydrocarbons. Huge amount of spent catalysts SC is generated which is expected to increase with expansion capacities of available refineries processes. This paper is reviewing the mechanisms of refining catalyst and the deactivation processes and focusing on spent catalysts management. Management of spent catalyst includes four main options; select the catalysts which reduce the generation of SC by switching to more environment friendly, longer lifetime and less toxic catalyst during the refining process; regenerate the SC; and precious metal recovery should be explored and reuse for other applications. The selection can be based on many factors such as safety, environment, mobility, etc.
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