RFC: Chemical Waste Treatment

Technology Reserve seeks know-how deposits and Technology Packages in the field of chemical waste treatment.


The production of stainless steel commonly involves a pickling process where acid is used to remove oxidized deposits that accumulate on steel during production. This process creates spent liquid waste or pickling sludge containing acid and dissolved metals. During recovery of the pickling acids, a sulfate cake containing acid and dissolved metals is formed. The dissolved metals (including iron, nickel, and chromium) all have inherent value, but are normally disposed of because the cost of recycling exceeds the cost of disposing of the liquid “waste”.

Environmental concerns and increasing regulatory scrutiny have increased investment into the innovation and scaling of industrial waste treatment technologies. Pickling sludge contains an attractive quantity of metal ions that are recoverable and reusable, yielding metal salts that can be sold for use in electronics or lithium batteries. The inherent value of these metals can exceed the cost of extraction and disposal in today’s market. Modern recovery processes both lower waste disposal costs and reduce the environmental impact of the steel industry.

Technology Reserve’s client seeks experts in metal extraction from sulfate cake and technologies that are ready for pilot testing and deployment. The technology must be demonstrated to extract iron, chromium, and nickel from a liquid phase and deliver metal salts as purified products. Iron phosphate, chromium phosphate, and nickel sulfate are final products of considerable interest.

Key Capabilities:

  • Experience extracting metals from spent pickling liquor
  • Experience designing and developing systems for extraction in an industrial setting

An ideal expert team will:

  • Deposit the know-how and IP to deliver a mature technology that can function at scale
  • Deposit designs for an on-site extraction system
  • Work with the Technology Reserve client’s engineering team to integrate the technology into a production facility
  • Participate in the solving, packaging, assembly, or management of this project

 For inquiries, contact Astha Vijay, astha@techreserve.com