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Recycling catalytic converters
In financial regard as well as from an environment protection point of view recycling catalytic converters is a lucrative and sensible process. Valuable precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium can be regained during the recycling process of catalytic converters, with very low consumption of energy and other resources compared to the extraction in mines.
Introduction and rising of catalytic converters in passenger cars
Catalytic converters in this country are built into cars since about 1985. Tax reductions for the use of a catalytic converter in vehicles – which was at first on a voluntary basis – did increase their use significantly. At the beginning of the 1990s practically all passenger cars admitted anew were delivered with a catalytic converter. If one assumes a medium life-span of a passenger car of 12 to 15 years, nowadays all cars to be scrapped are already equipped with a catalytic converter. All in all, a very good basis for selling your catalytic converter.
Purchase of catalytic converters
The number of passenger cars in the Federal Republic of Germany currently amounts to about 50 million units – trend rising. Each year approx. 3.5 million cars are scrapped in the FRG. So theoretically approx. 3.5 million catalytic converters could be bought for recycling. Taking into account the export of old cars as well as the use of used catalytic converters as spare parts that number of 3.5 million for buying catalytic converters can not be reached. Although a spare parts reseller can not really guarantee the full effectiveness of a used catalytic converter, the spare part trade still blossoms. The current number of catalytic converter purchases is approx. 1 million pieces per year.
Catalytic converter recycling process
The recycling process of catalytic converters starts with the purchase of the catalytic converter. Goal of the recycling process is – besides the ecological aspects – regaining precious metals included in the catalytic converter. In practice there can be extracted – depending on the actual filling – out of 3 kilos of ground monolith up to 1 gramme of platinum. This is were the effectiveness of the recycling process – compared to mining exploitation – becomes very clear: To extract 1 gramme of platinum by improved exploration technology, approx. 250 to 350 kg of rock from depths of 1500 to 2500 m have to be mined and processed costly.