Spent Catalyst Recycling

Since the EPA mandated the necessity for the reduction in sulfur of fuels in the 1980's, oil refineries have used larger and larger quantities of catalysts in the refining process. The catalysts are used to remove the sulfur in crude oil through a process called desulfurization. The most common elements used in these catalysts are:

  • Chromium
  • Nickel
  • Molybdenum
  • Cobalt
  • Palladium
  • Platinum

In the automotive industry, a car's catalytic converter can effectively and reliably reduce harmful exhaust emissions. The legal framework has thus made the catalytic converter mandatory for all new vehicles. At its heart, the monolith contains small amounts of substances. Those can be recovered when the catalyst is no longer in use, such as:

  • Platinum
  • Rhodium
  • Palladium

When these elements are used up, they are no longer effective. They must be replaced and the spent catalyst must be dealt with.

Recycling of catalysts is absolutely essential to protect the environment. Not to mention that spent catalysts often have great value for reuse. Recycling prevents pollution of the environment by the metals contained in the catalysts. The catalyst to be recycled comes from used vehicles or from the oil refining industry.

During recycling, the various metals contained in the catalyst are separated, and then these metals are treated to remove the polluting components. Depending on the type of metal, the recycled elements of the catalyst can be:

  • Resold
  • Reused
  • Passed on to professionals

Recycling the catalyst allows large quantities of precious and non-precious metals to be recovered. This technology allows us to save energy used for mining new raw materials.

used catalytic converter

The Most Common Type of Catalyst

The most well-known catalyst is found in cars using an internal combustion engine. A catalytic converter consists of a chamber. This chamber is mostly made of:

  • Stainless steel
  • Honeycomb structure
  • Ceramic material 

Crystals mixed with precious metals cover the ducts. They catalyze the gases and neutralize toxic elements. At the time of the widespread use of catalytic converters, it is estimated that each model contained:

  • Between three and seven grams of platinum
  • About one gram of rhodium

All these metals are rare and valuable. This means that spent catalysts in catalytic converters still have value.

On the environmental level, catalytic converters are designed to reduce CO2 emissions. The metals present in the catalyst are precious because they are rare. Today, the world is increasingly aware that natural resources are finite.

This is why recycling of all catalytic converters has become a necessity. It enables the industry to plan for a prosperous and sustainable future. The recovery of these metals is fundamental to the continuation of automotive production. It is also essential to the protection of the environment.

Otera's_catalyst_3D_ball

The Recovery Processes

When catalytic converters have reached the end of life, they are typically processed in the following ways:

  • ELV centers
  • Shredders
  • Breakers
  • Car garages

When the valuation of the materials in used catalytic converters is assessed, they're identified by their serial number. Special software defines the catalytic value by the precious metals they contain.

This innovative method is highly accurate. Through this process, estimators are able to provide an estimate of catalytic converter values. Used catalytic converters are usually sold by their weight.

Recognized Trading & Shipping is one of the world leaders in the buy-back and recycling of catalytic converters in the US. 

  • Ceramic catalytic converters
  • Diesel particulate filters
  • Metal catalytic converters

We have acquired a solid experience in the sector through our many years of experience. This has been done by listing and testing thousands of references. Our catalog allows you to easily identify your used catalytic converters. You can also find out their market value. In this way, you can optimize your trade with your supplier to guarantee a fair return.

In addition, prices are regularly updated to express the value of your catalyst as accurately as possible in real-time. We are world-renowned for our precision, seriousness, and commitment. We aim to provide great service to each and every one of our customers.

Spent Industrial Catalysts

Recognized Trading & Shipping, Inc. specializes in the transport of spent catalysts used by oil refineries in the desulfurization process destined for recycling at overseas facilities. Although we do not recycle spent catalysts ourselves, we transport the raw spent catalysts overseas to our partners around the world. Our services provide retrieval and disposal of spent catalysts and other metal-bearing wastes.

We guarantee the secure and environmentally friendly reclaiming of compounds to make the most of the capacity for reuse and generation of fresh catalysts or alternative high-purity products.

Utilizing analytic chemistry and attribute analysis, we provide convenient cost-effective alternatives and take reception of substance in an assortment of manners --drum, bags, bulk transportation, and boat. Our seasoned staff is educated about state and federal regulations that govern hazardous waste transport.

Our spent catalyst solutions comprise:

  • Reclamation
  • Retrieval or Demo
  • Identification of appropriate product and quantities
  • Transport broker
  • The assistance of transportation, packaging, along with the transport of merchandise
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