How Much Rhodium Is in a Catalytic Converter? A Guide

How much rhodium is in a catalytic converter is one topic many car owners, enthusiasts, and scrap metal parts sellers are always particular about. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense considering the price of rhodium.

How Much Rhodium Is in a Catalytic Converter

But many don’t have the right answers to the question, and we plan on changing that today with this handy guide, so let’s get started!

How Much Rhodium Can You Obtain From a Catalytic Converter?

The amount of rhodium you can obtain from a catalytic converter is between one and two grams. At least, that is the amount you will obtain from the catalytic converter of an average car. However, you can get much more in certain vehicles.

Rhodium (Rh) is a part of the Platinum Group Metal (PGM) found in catalytic converters, and is one of the precious metals. Considering rhodium is one of the rarest elements on the face of the earth – only found in 0.0002 percent of Earth’s crust – it makes sense that it is present only in small quantities. 

You will not have to worry too much about the rhodium precious metal content of your car, though, unless you want to replace or sell it. Unfortunately, if your car is suspected of having more rhodium than the average amount, you are at a higher risk of catalytic converter theft and other illegal practices to get the rhodium from the car. 

What Factors Influence the Amount of Rhodium in Catalytic Converters?

Factors that influence the amount of rhodium in catalytic converters are all related to the vehicle, and they are the vehicle’s type, size, and age. While the amount of rhodium in a normal vehicle is between one and two grams, these factors determine exactly how much rhodium the car contains.

It is rare to have a vehicle with less than one gram of rhodium, but it is not at all atypical to have vehicles with far more than two grams of rhodium. Again, it all depends on these factors. So, without further ado, let us examine these factors in more detail.

– Vehicle Size

This is the biggest influence on the amount of rhodium in the catalytic converter of a vehicle, and here’s why. The larger the vehicle, the larger its engine generally is. And the larger its engine, the more harmful emissions it produces. Since PGMs, including rhodium, help combat these harmful emissions, larger cars will have more rhodium. 

Vehicle Size

While it is easy to draw a connection between rhodium and the size of the vehicle, it is tricky to determine the exact influence increasing size has on the amount of rhodium in the vehicle. What this is basically saying is that as the size of the car increases, the amount of rhodium present increases. But this doesn’t mean if the size of an engine doubles, its rhodium amount will follow suit and double.

However, the general principle that larger vehicles have more rhodium is beyond controversy. Below, we examine some different vehicle types and the amount of precious metals they contain.

  • Small vehicles (cars, SUVs, light-duty trucks, motorcycles): 2 to 6 grams of PGM
  • Large vehicles (larger-engine SUVs, trucks, trailers): 6 to 30 grams of PGM

Rhodium makes about 1 to 2 grams of precious metals in catalytic converters of small vehicles. The exact amount will be significantly more in bigger vehicles.

– Vehicle Type

The type of vehicle in question also affects the amount of rhodium in catalytic converters. Generally, luxury cars have more powerful engines and produce more emissions, so they usually have larger catalytic converters to combat the higher emissions produced. Having a larger catalytic converter translates to more rhodium. 

Also, some cars have more than one catalytic converter to keep up with their emissions, and these types of cars will have more rhodium. Basically, any car that has more emissions, for whatever reason, has more rhodium in its catalytic converters.

– Vehicle Age

Although it seems unlikely, you can tell if a car will have more or less rhodium by its age. Older vehicles usually have more rhodium than their newer components because rhodium has gotten more expensive over the years as its demand skyrocketed.

Vehicle Age

Therefore, manufacturers in earlier times could afford to use more rhodium for their vehicles. However, nowadays, rhodium is costly, and it will not be smart for any manufacturer to use it in as much quantity. 

If you have cars of different generations, you could technically supplement the newer vehicle with rhodium from the older vehicle. But that is an unlikely situation, as most people just totally sell or replace the rhodium in their catalytic converter.

What Cars Have the Most Rhodium in Their Catalytic Converters?

The cars that have the most rhodium in their catalytic converters are mostly luxury cars. This is simply because these cars have more powerful engines than regular cars. With this in mind, more engine performance and power correspond to more emissions. 

Considering that a cat converter adds to the price of vehicles, more expensive cars will generally have more rhodium. This holds true even when making comparisons between regular vehicles. 

Below are the cars that have the most rhodium, judging how much their catalytic converter worth.

  • Ferrari F430
  • Lamboghini Aventador
  • Ram 2500
  • Ford F-250
  • Ford Mustang
  • BMW 760 Li
  • Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe 63
  • Toyota Prius

The first two vehicles on this list are, by far, the most expensive catalytic converters to replace because they contain multiple catalytic converters. In similar fashion, these cars will contain the most rhodium and will rake in the most profit when selling.

What Is the Price of Rhodium in Catalytic Converters?

The price of rhodium in catalytic converters is around 312 dollars per gram, making it the most expensive PGM. However, in 2021, the price was 435 dollars per gram. This highlights the volatility of the market and how easily influenced the price of rhodium is by various factors.

What Is the Price of Rhodium in Catalytic Converters

This explains why rhodium was over 400 dollars before 2020, as the lockdown period really reduced the supply of the product. So demand remained high but supply fell, and the catalytic converter rhodium price went up, following the laws of economics. 

When you multiply the price per gram by the amount of rhodium in your vehicle, you should be looking at a figure between 312 and 724 dollars for a normal vehicle. However, vehicles that have more can see more than 1,200 dollars from selling their rhodium.

If you are looking to sell, it would be tricky to sell just the rhodium of your car. This is because many scrap catalytic converter sellers prefer to buy the catalytic converter as a whole, so you may yet realize more from attempting to sell rhodium in your catalytic converter than you anticipated. Take note, however, that rhodium serves an essential function in your car, and you should not sell it unless you plan on disposing of the vehicle or replacing the rhodium you have sold. 

Is Rhodium also Present in Catalytic Converters?

Rhodium is indeed found in catalytic converters, alongside platinum and palladium. It plays a crucial role in reducing harmful emissions from vehicles. However, when it comes to the keyword “palladium content in catalytic converters,” the focus shifts towards palladium, which also holds significant value in these emission control devices.

Conclusion

A catalytic converter contains different PGMs, of which rhodium is part. Many people wonder how much rhodium they can find in their catalytic converter, and this article addresses that with the following key points:

  • In a normal car, you can get around one to two grams of rhodium in the catalytic converter, although it increases with luxury vehicles.
  • How much rhodium is in a catalytic converter depends on factors like vehicle type, vehicle size, and the age of the vehicle.
  • Cars with multiple catalytic converters and bigger engines will have more rhodium in their catalytic converters.
  • Rhodium currently sells at 312 dollars per gram, so you can realize up to 724 dollars from selling the rhodium in your car.

Since rhodium is a precious metal and has a high value, car thieves are always on the lookout for cars with high rhodium content. Therefore, even if you know your car has more rhodium than normal, you are better off not revealing this information unless you are trying to sell the catalytic converter or car.

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