Looking Inside a Catalytic Converter

Catalytic Converters have been a hot topic in scrap lately. With several types of precious metals inside, like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, they have been a high-valued commodity.

How Much Are Scrap Catalytic Converters Worth?

The prices of catalytic converters sometimes vary from $0 to even over $800! That wide range of value is based on the precious metals recovery rate.

Boosted Catalytic Converter Prices at RRCats

Aftermarket or 3rd party units are worth less because they have fewer previous metals inside, but overall there is a huge benefit to the environment for catalytic converters. The honeycomb inside is what filters the exhaust system from your engine.

How Do Catalytic Converters Work?

What Does the Inside of a Catalytic Converter Look Like?

CATS prevent gas emmissions

When you first open a catalytic converter, you will likely encounter a shield or cover designed to protect the internal components from damage and excessive heat. This cover needs to be cut or otherwise removed to reveal the interior.

Inside the catalytic converter, the most prominent feature is a honeycomb structure known as the “substrate.” This structure, made from a ceramic or metallic material, provides a large surface area for catalytic reactions. The honeycomb is designed to expose as much exhaust gas as possible to the catalyst material, promoting the efficiency of the catalytic process.

The walls of the honeycomb structure are coated with a wash coat, a mixture of aluminum oxide, silicon dioxide, and other materials. These help disperse the precious metals and increase the surface area for catalytic reactions. This wash coat contains the precious metals you’re interested in when recycling a catalytic converter.

These precious metals—platinum, palladium, and rhodium—are embedded in the wash coat. Platinum and palladium facilitate the conversion of harmful gases. Some of these gases are carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons converted into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water vapor. On the other hand, Rhodium is involved in converting nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and oxygen, which are harmless.

When the catalytic converter is at the right temperature, it reduces emissions and harmful pollution. This is all possible with the precious metals inside.

Overall, the inside of a catalytic converter is a carefully engineered environment designed to maximize the efficiency of the catalytic reactions that reduce vehicle emissions. It’s compact and not particularly glamorous to look at. But its materials are highly valuable and can be profitable when properly extracted and recycled.

Ready To Scrap Your Catalytic Converter?

Contact our sister company RRCats.com for a quote today!