Recycled automotive catalytic converters

The measurement of Pt, Rh and Pd in recycled automotive catalytic converters is demonstrated using the Fundamental Parameters (FP) approach.



Used catalytic converters are collected and recycled in order to reclaim the precious metals Pt, Rh and Pd. Typically, the entire honeycomb core is removed and ground into fine powder. Once in powder form, the precious metal catalysts can be extracted, or the powder can be sold to a refiner. The honeycomb core is typically ceramic, containing combinations of the elements Al, Si, Fe, Zn, Sr, Zr, Ba, La and Ce. Some cores can be made of a stainless steel honeycomb and so would contain higher Fe and other metals. Catalyst material may also be high in Pb content, in regions where leaded gasoline is still used. Because all of these matrix elements can occur at various levels, Rigaku’s unique RPF-SQX fundamental parameters software offers quick direct analysis, of powdered catalytic converter cores, without the need for a large suite of calibration standards.

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