protect your palladium!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot /

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/09/climate/catalytic-converter-theft.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Climate%20and%20Environment

Another thing to worry about, and another reason to want a place in the boonies. If either of my crappy cars had the converter stolen, I guess I'd maybe scrap the car? It's kind of late in the game to make new regulations for car makers, like making them harder to get to, but the penalties for theft could be dramatically increased, i guess? And maybe regulate the sale of used converters, but trying to police the scrap industry? LOL. I saw a whole school bus once in the news, stolen then ground up for scrap metal.

Re: protect your palladium!

Damn, my ‘03 Passat 3.0 wagon has six of em. I’m sitting on a goldmine!

Re: protect your palladium!

Been going on a while now....it's a junkie thing, Prius hit very hard, to the point you can buy a guard place over converter...they like Accord's too.

Re: protect your palladium!

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

6 cats? Now there’s a great example of “lipstick on a pig”.

Re: protect your palladium!

> Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> 6 cats? Now there’s a great example of “lipstick on a pig”.

Bunch of BS is what it is. Exhaust shop says they can’t do back pressure test on the front two either, and it acts like they’re plugged. Aft four test fine.

Re: protect your palladium!

I've worked in the catalysts scrap industry. sortof, it's one of my many roles.

My company bought Engelhard, which was THE precious metal company - most of the gold bullion in ft Knox was cast and stamped by Engelhard, and Mr Engelhard himself was the inspiration for the Bond villain Goldfinger.

With their interest in precious metals, and precious metals' value in catalysts, they became a major catalyst company and actually invented the Pt/Pd 3-way catalyst that's used in cars today (much of the original R&D done in the building I work in every day!)

My role covers all of our high temp processing of solids, which includes LOTS of different things, one of which is the melting process for reclaiming the precious metals (PM) from the catalytic converters.

When you sell the cats to metal scrappers, they get piled together. Then a precious metal company bids on them based on expected weight, usually taking samples. Sometime theyre bidding on the whole cut cats or sometimes just the removed and ground down PM coated ceramic powder. You take a sample or a few samples of a giant 1ton bag, make a best guess of the overall average composition and pay a precious metal scrap price based on that.

Then, if not ground already, the ceramic honeyomb gets cut out and ground. Then comes the cool part - it goes into an enormous electric arc furnace which is constantly blasting these massive lightingbolts of power to heat it up enough to actually melt not just the metal but the ceramic too. that's hot. Cordierite (the ceramic) doesnt melt til 2700F, gas burners dont easily get that hot, which is why the electric arc (jet fuel can't even melt steel beams!)

But then, like oil and water, because the ceramic and metal are diffrent densities, the metal sinks to the bottom and can be drawn out of the bottom of the tub and the molten cordierite off the top. Wild!

The stuff is so valuable that even the cutting floor scraps are a few million a year - there's similar stories of the floor matts in jewelers workshops (we reclaim metals from those too) and stories of guys who smuggled out thousands of dollars in dust on their clothes (and then tried to sell it... but you know who buys precious metals? THE PEOPLE YOU STOLE IT FROM, DIPSHITS)

The security is super tight, even the truckers have to get screened on entry and exit, no guns on site ever except the guards, it's funny the site has all these negative ads on google maps from angry truckers like "these guys dont trust the truckers, won't let us carry - i've got a liscence!" cuz they have little or no clue the value in that place...

But it's actually a funny lifecycle for that product line for us. We start out mining the clay in GA that gets sold to companies who make the ceramic honeycombs, then we buy the honeycombs back and coat them to sell to auto muffler manufacturers, and then at the end of life we buy em back again to reclaim the PM. So we sell the same product basically 3 times at different steps of it's manufacture.

Cool!!! (edited)

Re: protect your palladium!

> Born to be WillD Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> (jet

> fuel can't even melt steel beams!)

Thermite will tho. Thermite, a mixture of metal powder and metal oxide, is the hottest burning man-made substance in the world. It burns at temperatures of more than 3,992F, enough to burn through steel or asphalt. I have no doubt you know this Will so my next statement is not directed at you. Its amazing how many dum dums we have in this country (edited)

Re: protect your palladium!

The stealing of catalytic converters is already pretty common here. If you have a nice battery powered angle grinder it's a pretty easy way to make money.

Re: protect your palladium!

punkrock randy /

Glad my B5 passat cat is way up under the hood, not getting to it from beneath. Schwann’s got them stolen off 4 of their trucks a few months back so they had me install a camera system.

Re: protect your palladium!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot /

Well, i know this has been a thing for a while, it happened to a co-worker on a construction site in broad daylight, years ago. What is the eye opener for me is the value of these metals, holy moly, up 3000% in five years time, $22,000/oz for rhodium. Never heard of the stuff.

Re: protect your palladium!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot /

Re: protect your palladium!

Toyota tacomas are pretty easy since they have lots of ground clearance. Buddy had his stolen at a park during the day at a busy mall.

Re: protect your palladium!

That’s pretty cool stuff Will.

I worked (for Brinks) in the OPM refinery. I was there for the merger with NTR and watched the place close when NTR went down for smuggling gold out of Columbia.

The place was mostly geared up for silver recycling. In processing stuff, they handled a large amount of gold and a tiny bit of PGM. I took the tour a few times and geeked out on how they did their jobs.

I also practiced floor sweep gold panning. Our vault wasn’t high traffic. But carts that were used by the refinery passed through with their stuff. They had a floor cleaner zamboni thing to run everywhere and collect dust but they fired the guy that drove it and stopped going into our vault.

When I say vault, I’m talking about a half football field size area. So, after about a year, I had and estimated 1.5 oz of gold and 4-5 oz of silver.

The mix is still sitting in a crucible, waiting for a furnace, so I can refine the gold by the inquartation method. Still don’t know what I will make with the finished product. Some kinda souvenir.

Anyhow. One last thought. We had pallets of Rhenium at one point. Like 1/3 of the world’s annual supply. It was super valuable and then the price dropped. I thought it was cool. Researching Rhenium took me to a video about modern turbofan design. Amazing stuff. Some people are way smrat.

Re: protect your palladium!

Ha. They started jacking them here in Charlotte recently too. Shows the times. People are desperate to make money any why possible. There was a post in my neighborhood about all Prius getting jacked. I imagine they have a higher metal content in theirs.

Re: protect your palladium!

Pushrod Fifty /

Mine is about to become a ground score for someone. The exhaust is 18 years old.

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