On April 1994, The Government of Indonesia enacted the Government Regulation Number 19 concerning the Hazardous Waste Management which will be come into effect as from April 1, 1995. Despite all the efforts made, petroleum activities in their operations may use or explore hazardous materials which eventually will produce hazardous wastes. The material, among others are catalyst.

The Appendix of this Government Regulation had categorized the Spent Catalyst as hazardous waste, therefore the handling of this waste (material) should follow the process and procedures as indicated by the regulations.

The new oil refinery at Balongan, West Java, will utilize catalyst, thus produce spent catalyst in quite a big amount, amount, i.e. more than 30 tons per day.

The comparison of treating this bulk of wastes if categorized as hazardous waste ton non-hazardous are quite enormous, and the discussion in this paper will elaborate on the efforts made by Pertamina to appeal to the Government under the co-ordination of BAPEDAL (The Environmental Impact Management Agency), to exclude this specific Spent Catalyst from hazardous waste categories. This references are made to the definitions and criteria set up in this regulation as well as comparison studies with similar industries in other countries.

The exclusion of this Balongan refinery spent catalyst from the present status with categorized as hazardous waste to non-hazardous will eventually meet the requirements of sustainable development operation achievable in most efficient way.

The Treatment of Spent Catalyst at PERTAMINA

In processing crude oil into fuel oil such as premium, diesel oil, LPG, etc. the following processes are employed : distillation, vacuum, cracking and reforming.

The cracking process is the breaking of long CH chain into a short chain generally employing a catalyst to accelerate the said chemical reaction. In addition, the catalyst is also employed at the Hydrogen Plant unit; to help accelerate the reaction between steam and gases from the unit passing through the tube reformer, catalyst of the zinc type is also utilized

In the cracking reaction, the catalyst employed is in the form of sand which mainly contains aluminum and magnesium silica; this catalyst is getting more and more saturated, so it needs to be degenerated or replaced with the new one when it does not function any more.

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