Refineries specializing in recycled precious metals and scrap automotive components typically buy used catalytic converters. As of 2014, prices range from $5 to over $100, depending on size, design, manufacturer, condition and age.
In some cases, even small scrap-metal buyers are happy to buy used catalytic converters for a considerable amount. Catalytic converters became a standard component in many vehicles in the 1975 model year. Manufacturers began including these devices in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulations on vehicle emissions. The purpose of a catalytic converter is to reduce hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions from the burning of gasoline and other fossil fuels. Catalytic converters can be found on both gasoline and diesel engines of all shapes and sizes, from vehicles and forklifts to fixed generators.
Used catalytic converters are particularly valuable as scrap, due to the reactive metal used to catalyze the unconsumed fuel particles. Common metals found in catalytic converters include platinum, palladium and rhodium, all of which are classified as precious metals that have relatively high melt values. As of October 2014, a single ounce of platinum on the New York Stock Exchange was valued at $1,233, with rhodium closing at $1,275 and palladium valued at $760.Learn More
Platinum content in catalytic converters can differ significantly depending on the year the catalytic converter was fabricated and the type of vehicle. Small cars usually average 1 to 2 grams per car, while larger trucks can have as much as 12 to 15 grams.Full Answer >
A catalytic converter operates normally between 550 and 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit with the optimal temperature being about 806 degrees. Pollutants coming through the exhaust system can raise the temperature over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point, the catalytic converter can be severely damaged.Full Answer >
Catalytic converter recycling is the process of removing valuable metals from a broken device, such as platinum, rhodium, and titanium, so they can be reused in other products. Because of the value of the minerals used in converters, recycling them can be very lucrative.Full Answer >
When a catalytic converter is clogged, you are likely to notice several symptoms, including a drop in your car's fuel efficiency, failure to accelerate properly and even your car not starting correctly. Many cars have dashboard lights that indicate when a catalytic converter isn't working properly. In addition, if you are required to have smog checks done on your car, a clogged catalytic converter is likely to cause you to fail the test.Full Answer >