A method of reactivating a catalyst, such as a solid catalyst or a liquid catalyst is provided. The method comprises providing a catalyst that is at least partially deactivated by fouling agents. The catalyst is contacted with a fluid reactivating agent that is at or above a critical point of the fluid reactivating agent and is of sufficient density to dissolve impurities. The fluid reactivating agent reacts with at least one fouling agent, releasing the at least one fouling agent from the catalyst. The at least one fouling agent becomes dissolved in the fluid reactivating agent and is subsequently separated or removed from the fluid reactivating agent so that the fluid reactivating agent may be reused. A system for reactivating a catalyst is also disclosed.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 and Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14517 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.