Catalytic Converter Recycling – All There is to Know About Recycling Catalytic Converters

If you own a car then you have a surprisingly valuable bit of metal in your exhaust system. Catalytic converters perform an important function for your car and have some very prized components that can be worth a good price.

Of course, the best way to ensure you receive a good price for your used catalytic converter, and that it is handled in the most environmentally considered way, is through recycling. As specialists in metal recycling, we here at SL Recycling have put together this guide to catalytic converter recycling, including how it works and why it should be done.

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Catalytic Converter Recycling

What is a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system in modern vehicles that help to reduce the negative environmental effect of cars. The set of catalysts convert dangerous gases produced by cars into less harmful substances.

For example, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons (which produce smog) are converted into carbon dioxide and water. Precious metals, i.e. platinum, are used within catalytic converters and encourage reactions when the exhaust fumes flow by.

Catalytic converters should last the lifetime of the car; however, they may need replacing earlier if the car is backfiring often. Replacements can be expensive due to their metallic makeup.

Catalytic converters contain a range of precious metals such as copper, nickel, cerium, iron and manganese. But most importantly, catalytic converters contain rhodium, platinum and palladium. These three metals are especially valued and used for jewellery, electronics and industrial purposes.

Why Should Catalytic Converters be Recycled?

At SL Recycling, we champion recycling and try to divert as much waste from landfill as possible. Therefore, we believe recycling should always be done where possible, and catalytic converters are no exception, however they do present additional benefits.

Firstly, mining metal ore and fabricating the metals can be a labour and energy intensive process, requiring extensive mining, costly processes and harmful chemical treatments. For example, platinum ore has to be extracted from deep tunnels, requiring lots of digging energy, and a large amount of ore is needed for a significant amount of end-product platinum (1 ton of ore for 1 ounce of platinum). Once extracted, platinum ore must be treated with chemicals to achieve the metal. Not only is this polluting on the environment, but also negative for the mine workers who are commonly underpaid and forced to work in harsh conditions.

Secondly, and significant to our clients, you can get money for your catalytic converter when you sell it to scrap metal traders or recycling companies. Due to their valuable components, it is common for catalytic converters to be recycled for money, inadvertently helping the environment… win – win.

How are Catalytic Converters Recycled?

As with most materials, once accepted at a materials recovery facility, the catalytic converter is graded, and the recyclable components separated. Once separated, the metals can be transferred to recycling facilities for repurposing.

It is important to note that you should not attempt to remove a catalytic converter and its contents yourself. Even if your car is scrap, the actual metal components within the catalytic converter are tricky to remove and can be dangerous.

Catalytic converters do not present a threat when left undisturbed, however once opened up and the ceramic bricks are exposed to air, they are considered hazardous waste. It is therefore critical to leave it to the experts who have the relevant experience and safety equipment.

The safest and most effective way of recycling catalytic converts is to take them to a scrap metal yard/metal recycling provider or arrange for collection.

If you are based in South Wales and looking for comprehensive waste management services for a range of recycling materials or metal specialties, don’t hesitate to get in touch with SL Recycling. With two waste advanced sites servicing the local areas, we have the experience and machinery to process many waste types. Additionally, with roots in scrap metal, SL Recycling know all there is to know about scrap metal, catalytic converters, and end of life vehicle recycling.

End of Life Vehicle Recycling

Additional to catalytic converter recycling, here at SL Recycling we also offer End of Life Vehicle recycling at our Ystrad Mynach facilities. We take care of the paperwork such as deregistering the car for you, leaving you to just drop the car and receive payment. Our specialist team can handle all areas of vehicle recycling from draining fluids to removing batteries, ensuring safety and effective recycling.

See our End of Life Vehicle services >

Metal Recycling with SL Recycling

From our two South Wales sites (Pontypool and Ystrad Mynach), we provide complete waste management services, from collection in our own fleet of vehicles, to extensive recycling services using our advanced facilities. As members of the British Metals Recycling Association and with many years in scrap metal, SL Recycling provide industry leading metal recycling capabilities for unbeatable prices.

Get great prices for your catalytic converters with SL Recycling. Get in touch today!

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Find out more about catalytic converter recycling with SL Recycling >

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