A catalyst is one of the most expensive devices in a vehicle. But even scrap devices are not useless and can be a source of rare precious metals. But first, let’s look at the factors determining the price of a scrap catalyst.
What Makes Up The Price
There are many puzzle pieces that form the final price of each catalyst:
- country of origin;
- vehicle type and class;
- wear degree;
- driving style preferred by the owner of the vehicle;
- fuel quality;
- cat type, etc.
And every factor has its own nuances.
The sales market of a catalyst plays an essential role. As a rule, vehicles of the higher quality and devices for them are presented on the European market. The correlation is the following: if a catalyst is designed to be operated in a country in which environmental standards are stringent, the content of precious metals in the catalytic coating is higher.
This makes sense: why is it needed to spend more rare materials for devices, the quality of which nobody is going to check? Yes, this is just a cost-effective use of precious metals. You can check it yourself by looking, for example, at volvo catalytic converter scrap value at https://autocatalystmarket.com/us/en/products/volvo.
The next correlation follows from the previous paragraph: the higher vehicle’s class, the better catalyst it requires. That is why devices for F-segment cars are more expensive than that for A-segment vehicles.
The wear of a catalyst is also important. The longer a device has been in operation, the less precious metals can be found in the catalytic coating. So, where is the rest? If you do an experiment and remove 2-3 mm of asphalt pavement, the number of precious metals in the sample will be nearly 30% of an average catalytic converter.
Sport-style driving “drains” a catalyst sooner. To be honest, many sport car drivers prefer to remove cats at all, and even the fact that it is illegal doesn’t stop them. This is done to make the vehicle about 10% more powerful.
Here comes fuel. Of course, it is better to buy scrap catalysts from car owners who use fuel of a great quality, because some additives leach metals from the catalyst.
What Scrap Catalysts Can Bring More Precious Metals
The oldest catalysts contain more Pt, Pd, and a small amount of Rh. The average content per ton of ceramics (ppm) is the following: Pt — 1470, Pd — 900, Rh — 270. But now such cats are treated as a kind of a “dying breed”. Currently, some other cat types are becoming more popular.
Diesel engine and luxury car cats contain mostly Pt and Rh. The absence of Pd is compensated by the increased amount of Pt (nearly 2500-5500 ppm).
The following cat type contains Pd and Rh. Instead of some Pt, they are notable for approximately 3000-5500 ppm of Pd. They could be met pretty rarely 10 years ago or so, but, currently, devices of this type make up nearly 40% of the total amount of all modern vehicle catalysts. But the trend has changed a bit recently: the steep price increase for palladium made many manufacturers produce more Pt-based catalysts.
It is impossible to identify the content of precious metals of a catalyst without an analysis. The only way to be protected from wasting money is to use proven services, such as AutoCatalystMarket (you can find the link above). All the products presented on this website have relevant prices.