Why Catalytic Converter Metals Are Expensive
Catalytic converters are designed to reduce the amount of emissions released from your vehicle’s exhaust. These devices are highly engineered to reduce NOX and CO2 emissions and help make the air cleaner. However, the cost of catalytic converters is not cheap. They are made from a number of different metals. Most of the metals used in catalytic converters are rare and precious.
The price of a catalytic converter depends on the commodity market value of the metals used. The more expensive the metal, the higher the price. For instance, platinum is very rare and has a high value. It costs around $31 per gram.
Rhodium is another precious metal that is used in catalytic converters. This metal is a critical material for the catalyst. A rhodium-based hydroformylation catalyst generates a normal-to-iso ratio of about 10. Using phosphite ligands, the catalyst is able to perform chemical reactions with lower temperatures and pressures.
Another metal used in catalytic converters is cerium. Cerium is a rare metal that is found in abundance, but mining it is costly. As the supply of this rare metal decreases, the price of the metal increases. Compared to other precious metals, cerium is not as expensive. Currently, it averages $1,000 per ounce.
In addition to these common precious metals, the cost of a catalytic converter can rise if it is built with more rare metals. Ceramic catalysts are less expensive, but they are more fragile. Therefore, auto manufacturers are aiming to make their catalytic converters as small as possible.
Some catalytic converters are made from ceramic monolith, which contains iron, manganese, copper, and nickel. Catalytic converters can be a target of thieves, who can saw off the catalytic converter in a matter of minutes. Unlike other types of scrap, a catalytic converter is sold for a premium. Many recyclers buy these converters and then sell them to facilities that can extract the metals.
When producing a catalytic converter, factories use a highly engineered process. To do so, specialized engineers need to understand the various chemical reactions that take place within the device. They also need to purchase the expensive materials needed for the production process. And as the cost of these materials increases, the price of the catalysts is bound to increase.
Although the price of catalytic converters is not cheap, they are very important in the environmental battle. In fact, they play a vital role in reducing the amount of NOX emissions released from your vehicle. If you don’t have a catalytic converter, your exhaust gas will contain toxic hydrogen sulfide. That smell is not pleasant to the human olfactory system, and it can cause serious damage to the ozone layer.
The price of a catalytic convertor can range from PS150 to PS800 for a typical UK driver. However, some vehicles have more valuable catalytic converters. There are some models that can sell for hundreds of dollars at the scrap yard.
A number of state legislatures have proposed legislation that would limit sales of catalytic converters. These laws can take years to reach a final outcome.