How Much Platinum Is in a Catalytic Converter(and Its Worth)

How much platinum is in a catalytic converter is one thing many want to know. A typical catalytic converter has between three and seven grams of platinum, depending on which car make, model, and manufacture year it’s from.

Chevy Equinox AWD

Read on for the details, including the processes of extracting the metal from the cat’s honeycomb and how much the cat fetches. You’ll also want to discover what other precious metals are present and the value of your old catalyst.

What Amount of Platinum Does a Catalytic Converter Carry?

The amount of platinum a catalytic converter carries is 3 to 7 grams. The exact quantity depends on your vehicle’s make, model, and production year. The Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari F430, Ford Mustang, Ford F250, and Ram 2500 are some vehicles whose cats contain the most platinum.

Platinum is a rare and precious metal – more than silver and gold. It’s estimated that there are less than 170 tons of platinum globally. This metal is durable and corrosion-resistant, making it suitable for use in many other industrial applications, such as electronic components and jewelry manufacturing. Its high density and melting point also make it one of the few metals that can withstand the high temperatures of a car’s exhaust.

Costs Catalytic Converter in Car

Like gold, platinum is inert, meaning it doesn’t react with other elements found inside the catalyst. Platinum is critical in cleaning up the vehicle’s exhaust fumes before they are discharged into the atmosphere. Many have discovered the actual value of platinum, which explains why cat theft has increased over the years.

As explained, a standard cat converter can have up to 7 grams or 0.25 ounces of platinum. The amount varies from vehicle to vehicle. Some cars have a somewhat low amount of platinum, while others come with up to twice as much. The Toyota Prius 2016’s catalytic converter is also on the list of converters with the most significant quantities of platinum.

The vehicle was tagged a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) based on the AT-PZEV rating in 2016. With platinum and other precious metals in a catalytic converter, the degree of toxins and odor coming from the exhaust is significantly minimized. That’s why it’s illegal to drive without a cat. A car without this component harms the environment and puts the health of its owner in great danger.

Platinum and Catalytic Converter Costs

Platinum prices change frequently, and you should always check the current cost when selling. For instance, the average rate for an ounce of platinum is about $914. That means a converter with two grams of platinum has about $64 worth of the metal. An ounce equals approximately 28.3 grams, so divide $914 by 28.3 to find the value of one gram of platinum.

But the catalytic converter platinum scrap price will be less than that. Even so, you can see why thieves often target cats. Many have asked where to sell platinum from catalytic converters. You can sell your platinum to a local scrap yard, and the same applies to an old cat once you’re done using it.

How much is a catalytic converter scrap? Most scrap yards will buy scrap catalytic converters from most vehicles anywhere from $50 to $250. A cat from a high-end car will certainly fetch much more – up to $2,000! Your catalytic converter worth may also depend on its condition, which means less degraded cats attract more money.

Note that recyclers don’t pay every dollar for what the scrap metals are worth. They must consider the expensive, leaching procedure required to extract those valuable metals because they, too, need to make a profit. Separating the metals is complex (as explained below), and you don’t want to do it alone. You’re better off taking the scrap cat to the recycler and collecting a little money, which is worth more than the time and effort you would spend trying to extract the valuable metals.

Extracting Platinum From Catalytic Converters

If you learn how to separate the metals in a catalytic converter, a few methods are involved. All of them begin with incinerating the ceramic material holding the cat. That helps to get rid of the organic material and sulfides, which can interfere with the platinum recovery procedure. The most popular method involves melting the material with iron and flux or copper and creating a two-phase extraction.

Extracting Platinum From Converters

The metals blend with the platinum group metals and, after that, are refined, often by electrolysis. Another method is to leach out the metals using dilute solutions of alkali metal cyanides (Hydrometallurgy). Hydrochloric acid (HCI) and an oxidizer can also be used to obtain the metal from a cat. Since platinum is inert (it won’t react with any element), it won’t dissolve in the acids.

Instead, the platinum will dissolve, separating the platinum from the base metals. All these techniques are effective but can be extremely dangerous in the hands of an untrained person. A simple mistake can release chemicals into the atmosphere and cause immense harm.

You can extract platinum from a cat, but as explained, the extraction processes can be challenging. You also may lack the proper knowledge and equipment to get the metal out. As mentioned, the best way for anyone wanting to know how to get platinum out of catalytic converter is to take the cat to a professional scrap recovery service specializing in extracting metals.

The people have the right equipment and knowledge to safely extract the metal without harming the environment or themselves.

What Are Other Valuable Metals in a Catalytic Converter?

Other valuable metals in a catalytic converter besides platinum are rhodium and palladium. A standard cat has about 1 to 2 grams of rhodium and 2 to 7 grams of palladium. Rhodium is the most valuable of the three metals, and contrary to many people’s belief, cats don’t have gold.

Diesel Catalytic Converters

As you can see, platinum isn’t the only metal that makes catalytic converters worth much. Rhodium and palladium (in diesel catalytic converters or simple diesel oxidation catalyst, DOC) included the cat’s construction. Your car’s catalytic converter could house up to 2 grams of rhodium and 7 grams of palladium, depending on its make, model, and manufacture year.

Palladium is one of the most precious metals because of its hardness and durability. The authorities have set restrictive environmental policies that limit extraction and mining, constricting global supplies. Its rarity further contributes to its value. This lustrous metal also plays a significant role in a catalytic converter turning harmful pollutants into less-toxic carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Like the price of platinum, the cost of palladium and rhodium also change often. Currently, palladium prices average at around $1,250 per ounce. How much palladium in a catalytic converter? The answer is at least two, meaning a typical catalytic converter can carry roughly $88 worth of the metal.

Rhodium, the most expensive metal, is an average of $4,200 per ounce right now. And how much rhodium is in a catalytic converter in grams? You know it’s at least one, meaning a cat can have over $148 worth of the metal!

There’s no such thing for those asking how much gold is in a catalytic converter. The cat has no other valuable metals besides the three discussed above. But there are many different materials included in the construction. For example, the cat’s core (honeycomb structure) may be constructed with many materials, depending on your car.

That includes ceramic, which is popular because it’s inexpensive. You might also find metallic foil monoliths made of iron-aluminum-chromium mixtures.

What Are the Best Ways To Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft?

The best ways to prevent catalytic converter theft include finding out the most targeted cars and if yours falls under the category. That will help you to set drastic security measures, such as etching your VIN on the cat and always parking in secure places.

Nearly all the precious metals found in a catalytic converter are recoverable during recycling. That means someone would get a decent amount of money if they could extract 95 percent of those valuable metals. And even without having to extract the metals themselves, one could still sell the entire cat as scrap for up to $200. So, a thief will quickly make quick money with the slightest opportunity to steal your catalytic converter.

Know the Most Targeted Cars

As discussed, some cars have cats with more precious metal quantities than others. Vehicles with the most considerable amount of platinum, rhodium, and palladium will be the most targeted by cat theft perpetrators.

Ford Mustang Car

Generally, many SUVs, hybrids (such as the Toyota Prius 2016), and trucks top the list. Remember that high-end, luxury cars like the Ford Mustang are also highly affected.

Mark Your Catalytic Converter

It might sound laughable, but etching your vehicle registration number on the cat can help you catch the perpetrator if it’s stolen. If a careful scrap dealer gets this cat, they might quickly know it’s stolen and reach out to relevant authorities before completing a transaction. Some car owners also paint their cats to scare away thieves.

Park in Secured Places

Another practical way to prevent cat theft is to be mindful of where you park your vehicle. For example, when you go out, always leave the car where there’s lots of traffic (people passing by) and light. While at home, let the car stay in the garage, or somewhere you can monitor it closely.

You should consider enhancing your home’s security, especially if you park the vehicle outside. For instance, you could install cameras and motion-activated lights around the area to alert you if something fishy is happening.

Equip Your Car with an Alarm

An alarm will keep people off your vehicle. Anytime someone tries to come close, the alarm will go off, alerting you. That’s one of the best and most basic ways to protect your car when parking anywhere, anytime. It’s also an inexpensive option.

Car with an Alarm

On the downside, an alarm can be annoying when you’ve parked the car in a busy area because the alarm will go bang even when no one has ill intentions. But it’s better to install one anyway than get your cat stolen.

Is Rhodium Worth More Than Platinum in a Catalytic Converter?

Rhodium content in catalytic converters plays a key role in determining its value compared to platinum. In recent times, rhodium has indeed surpassed platinum in terms of worth in catalytic converters. This is due to its scarcity and increasing demand in emission control systems. The higher rhodium content makes it a more valuable component in catalytic converters.

Conclusion

A catalytic converter is a valuable component, and you’ve just discovered how much platinum it carries.

Before you leave, here’s a summary:

  • Catalytic converters carry 3 to 7 grams of platinum, depending on the car model, make, and manufacture year.
  • Platinum is one of the rarest and most precious metals, and its price per ounce costs over $900 – its costs are dynamic; for example, the current price is about $914.
  • Extracting platinum from the catalyst involves expensive and dangerous processes, so leaving it to the experts is better.
  • Other valuable metals found in a cat include rhodium (the most valuable) and palladium; there’s no gold.
  • You can sell an old converter at scrap dealers for $50 to $250, depending on the cat’s degradation state and the vehicle where it’s from.

You now have the information you need for whatever reason best known. Remember catalytic converters are valuable components that are a high target by thieves, and you should protect your car by implementing the tips discussed above.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666016423000324

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-markets-precious-idUSTRE4AG02Q20081118

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