Auto Catalysts are the new hot commodity in the metals recyling world

Rhodium prices have increased astronomically and Palladium and Platinum have followed suit.

This has driven the scrap metal business into a frenzy and the analysis of auto catalysts for the buying and selling of these commodities has never been more relevant.

The accurate analysis of the precious metal content embedded in a ceramic or metal monolith has become paramount as even a few ppm difference can amount to significant differences in the dollars paid and the dollars received.

Analysis parameters

The samples measured need to be representative of the whole monolith and will require grinding and size reduction for accurate XRF analysis. Although the elements of interest are generally Pd, Rh and Pt, many ancillary elements that make up the monolith will be included in the analysis protocol in order for the Fundamental Parameter methods to calculate the interdependence between elements accurately.

Families of Catalytic Converters

Auto manufacturers consider their converters  to be part of the secret sauce that separates their vehichles from the competition and they will have different typical amounts of Pd, Rh and Pt  on their specific choices of monolith. It is possible to create constrained Fundamental Parameter procedures that are specific to a certain auto make and model for ultimate accuracy.

Commodity-driven analysis at the speed of commerce

A versatile, reliable analyzer preferbly portable or able to be used as a standalone in a lab stand is a really elegant solution for this scenario

Enter the Prospector 3 – Elvatech Prospector 3

  • World’s fastest XRF analyzer (throughput 500 000 cps – more than three times as fast as any other handheld XRF) – highest accuracy within the shortest measurement time, excellent precision
  • World’s smallest (236 х 193 х 68 mm), and lightest (1.05 kg with a battery) handheld analyzer – easy to operate
  • Dustproof and waterproof instrument body, with IP-67 ingress protection rating
  • Automatic collimator changer for small spot analysis of jewelry, welds etc.
  • Folding display – for easy operation in the lab stand without connecting to a PC
  • Highest mobility – up to 16 hours of autonomous operation on a single battery charge, hot battery swap
  • Superior calibration stability, compensation of influence of ambient temperature and pressure variations – no need to spend time for calibration
  • Two CCD cameras for macro- and micro- view
  • Full compatibility with ElvaX PC software
  • Radiation safety: proximity sensor and low count rate detection
Data can be transferred from ProSpector 3 to a PC directly via USB, WiFi

Catalytic converters in cars are used for reduction of hazardous emissions, such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HxCy) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). These harmful substances are converted into neutral carbon dioxide (CO2), water and nitrogen by catalytic chemical reactions, which are accelerated by three platinum group metals (PGM): platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

Catalyst analysis

Due to a great number of car catalyst types, an amount of PGM’s varies significantly. The fast and accurate testing method is required for the PGM’s content evaluation. XRF provides precise and fast catalytic converters analysis for simple sorting and price evaluation. Usually, a concentration of PGM’s in a car catalyst is much higher, than in ores.

With ElvaX spectrometers it takes just seconds to give the result as opposed to hours or days as in a laboratory. Together with simple operation training and easy sample preparation, they are ideal tools for the daily business for quality control and price evaluation during catalyst’s buying and selling.

Find out more about the Prospector 3

Contact us to setup an online demo – see reference

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