how much platinum in catalytic converter

How much Platinum is in a Catalytic Converter?

One of the major components of a catalytic converter is platinum and it plays a vital role in the overall operation of a car.

However, it appears that some car owners were not well versed in the importance of platinum in the overall operation of their cars as well as the role it plays and this is a no-no.

Read on to see the significance of platinum in a catalytic converter and how much platinum is in a catalytic converter.

What role does platinum play in a fuel cell?

When it comes to fuel cells, platinum is required for the catalyst that separates hydrogen into protons and electrons, which are then used to generate electrical current. This process ensures that they are an alternative to battery-powered vehicles. 

Hydrogen fuel cells are expected to play a significant role in reducing global carbon emissions, although they are still very expensive. 

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What is the use of platinum in a catalytic converter?

The primary function of a catalytic converter is to ensure the oxidization of monoxide and hydrocarbons and platinum is responsible for this process. Meanwhile, due to the effectiveness of platinum, it is mostly used as the metal of choice for diesel engines.

What is the use of platinum in general? 

Other uses of platinum can be found in laboratory equipment, electrical contacts and electrodes, platinum resistance thermometers, dentistry equipment, and jewelry amongst others. 

Regardless, platinum is essential in the production of catalytic converters. When there is an ideal amount of oxygen in the converter, the available hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide will be oxidized.

How much platinum is in a catalytic converter? 

The amount of platinum available in the catalytic converter may differ significantly depending on its model and manufacturer. 

However, the amount of platinum in a standard catalytic converter varies from model to model and manufacturer, with an average of 3 to 7 grams of platinum per converter. 

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The three-way catalyst used in petrol cars should reduce NOx to nitrogen element and CO to hydrocarbons. Meanwhile, platinum has many advantages which are mentioned below:

  • Platinum can be recycled and this can be done efficiently.
  • Platinum has a high melting point and this is a pointer to how valuable it is.
  • Platinum’s interactions with sulfur compounds are restricted to the mental surface of the body. 

What is the highest amount of platinum that can be recovered from a catalytic converter? 

Based on market analysis, platinum is considered to be the most valuable metal among other metals, such as silver and gold. 

It shares some similarities with gold, including the ability to be ductile and malleable. Platinum is also resistant to corrosion and this is a big advantage. 

Platinum is rare and very valuable, thus distinguishing it from other metals such as silver and gold. Based on history, there is only one platinum per 15 gold coins. 

This is a pointer to the rarity of the valuable metal. You will need to mine ten tons of platinum-bearing ore to get one ounce of pure platinum.

When extracting platinum from a catalytic converter, it should be known that only about 3 to 7 grams of platinum can be recovered and their prices are between a whopping $100 and $237. It should also be known that these prices are not fixed or stable as they fluctuate due to several factors.

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The cars with the most platinum in their catalytic converters

This is one question that would be begging for answers and it is expected that the amount of this metal in the car’s catalytic converter will play a part in the overall cost of the car. Based on how catalytic converters are stolen, the car that gets hit the most is the Toyota Prius.

Toyota Prius have converters with a high concentration of platinum, palladium, and rhodium. This comes as no surprise because they are preferred in the manufacture of low emission cars.

Meanwhile, criminal car dealers and scrap yards are ready to pay thieves at least $700 per catalytic converter.

Is platinum present in all catalytic converters?

At the moment, the price of platinum per gram is approximately $41 and the amounts vary from model to model. On average, one standard catalytic converter contains approximately 3-7 grams of platinum, 2-7 grams of palladium, and 1-2 grams of rhodium. 

What is the best way to extract platinum from a catalytic converter?

This is one procedure that should be carried out carefully. Start by removing the catalyst pieces from the converter before the platinum coating on the catalyst pieces can be extracted. 

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You can do this by adjusting the catalytic converter in a lengthwise position and using a blunt instrument to hit on the other end of the converter until the catalyst pieces give way and fall out of the lower open end of the catalytic converter.

Which cars have the highest number of catalytic converters? 

The Toyota Prius, SUVs, pickup trucks, vans (mostly Honda), passenger cars (mostly Honda), and two U-Haul trucks amongst others have the highest number of catalytic converters.

Meanwhile, platinum is so rare and valuable that stealing catalytic converters is now a crime in North Carolina.

Talking about the second most expensive catalytic converter, the Dodge Ram 2500 has a sticker price of $3,460.00. The Ford F250 (which is similar to the Dodge 2500 in terms of towing capacity and strength) costs only $2,804 with tax inclusive

What Is the Source of the Platinum? 

South Africa, North America, and Russia are the world’s top producers of platinum. To be specific, the highest producers are South Africa and Canada.

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Why is Platinum very expensive? 

Platinum is expensive because it is a precious metal, and precious metals are valued according to their weight. Platinum is heavier and denser than gold, thus making it more expensive than the latter.

Another reason why platinum is more valuable than gold is that it is very rare. Furthermore, the extraction process for platinum is more expensive than the extraction process for other metals. 

This is because platinum has a higher melting point than gold, and this makes the extraction more expensive as more energy is required in the extraction process. 

Conclusion: How much Platinum is in a Catalytic Converter?

I’m sure that your understanding of what platinum is and how rare and valuable it is has been enhanced.

This article has thrown more light on the significance of platinum in a catalytic converter and my bet is that as a car owner, you now understand the role it plays in your car.


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