Recycling Of Catalytic Converter

Recycling of catalytic converter is done to recover the precious metals in it. Catalytic converters do not work properly when the unwanted layer of chemicals like lead, sulphur, manganese and silicon gets deposited and coats the working surface of the device. Thus the working surface cannot contact and react with the exhaust gases. This process is also termed as Catalyst Poisoning. The most contaminated element is lead, so the vehicle which is equipped with the catalytic converter can only be run on unleaded fuels. Sulphur, silicon and manganese get mixed with the exhaust gases when there is a leak in engine that allows the coolant to come in combustion chamber.

Depending upon the coating of unwanted chemicals, the Catalyst Poisoning can be reversed by running the engine at very high loads for a large interval of time. Running the exhaust at higher temperature sometimes can evaporate the contaminated layer, thus removing it from catalytic surface. But this process cannot remove lead from the catalytic surface because lead has high boiling temperature. Devices with such damaged are scrapped, which can also be recycled.

Catalytic converters are mainly recycled for their precious metal content — Platinum, palladium and rhodium. These metals exist in trace amount in scrap catalytic converters. Automotive catalysts are build-up of either ceramic substrate cordierite coated with the expensive or precious metal holding a wash coat, or of a metallic substrate wash coated with aluminium oxide containing precious metal. The average ratio and concentration of PGMs (Platinum Group Metals) and the market value of the metals are fluctuating enormously over past few decades. These values fluctuate due to demand, supply and speculation. Composition of these metals depends upon the engine specification such as Displacement and type of the fuel used. These compositions also vary with the laws made by the government or a manufacturer organization.

Catalytic converters are recycled with the help of Pyro-metallurgical processes, which helps to recover the PGMs (Platinum Group Metals) efficiently. At the primary stage, the element analysis should be done properly to determine the chemical composition and ensure that the PGMs are free from hazardous material. Wavelength dispersive x-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) technology has been developed for the study of the recuperate metal because it provide high sensitivity from top to bottom to low atomic number elements, element selectivity, and high repeatability. WDXRF is also advised for its broad dynamic range and capability to attain the performance grade levels required for regular industrial applications.

Catalytic converter recycling is therefore a highly technical process that is best left into the hands of experts. Instead of attempting an extraction of the precious metals yourself, it will be a better choice to sell the device to professionals for a fair price. The internet can help you get in touch with the best catalytic converter smelters and recyclers to handover your device to. Use it to your best advantage and make the most of the inherent value of this scrap device in your car.

For more information on catalytic converter decanning and Stillwater mining companies, visit

About The Author

Benjamin Harvey is a mechanical engineer specializing in automobiles, and is closely associated with working and researching on catalytic converters. He is of the opinion that is the best destination to sell catalytic converters.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.