CEO of PGM Recovery Systems, Inc., Edmund Schwenk, discusses what components have recyclable value when a vehicle reaches its end of life.
More than 25 million tons of materials are recycled from old vehicles every year. The auto recycling industry is the 16th largest in the United States, contributing $25 billion a year to the national economy and automobiles are currently the most recycled consumer product on the planet. About 100,000 people work for the automotive recycling industry in the U.S. annually, and the industry earns around $25 billion. People make money from scrapping their vehicles, and the recycled materials are melted down and reused, making the industry economically and environmentally beneficial. Utilizing what has been extracted rather than mining, which emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, helps the circular economy.
A primary objective of the automotive recycling industry is to harvest and reuse auto parts. Moreover, recycling their remaining value-added material into specification-grade products. Consequently assisting in the generation of new basic materials such as steel, aluminum, plastics, copper, and brass.
Auto recyclers repurpose parts like engines, transmissions, doors, and bumpers for use in new vehicles. The remanufactured parts available for vehicles include starters, alternators, and water pumps. Metals like platinum, rhodium, iridium, and palladium are in oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, and spark plugs. These have a high value when recycled. The U.S. government considers these metals to be strategic. They recycle them because the demand is too high for mining operations to meet alone.
Spark Plugs, Oxygen Sensors, and Catalytic Converters All Have Recyclable Value
For internal combustion gasoline engines to achieve optimal performance, higher light off temperatures and pressures are required to comply with higher emissions standards. Platinum and iridium can withstand these conditions. As a result, they are the material of choice in OEM applications. Automotive Recycling professionals discard unused spark plugs with other scrap. The reason for this is because the recycling technology has not been cost-effective to extract the precious metals located on the tip of each plug. Platinum and iridium are strategic metals and are not available in large quantities in North America.
PGM Recovery Systems offers Automotive Recycling Programs for recycling components that include spark plugs. As part of this automotive recycling program, clients are required to send in a combination of Spark plugs, oxygen sensors. Additionally, they can send and at least ten OEM catalytic converters totalling 700lbs gross weight. Furthermore, as a partner, they will purchase your used spark plugs and pay 50% of the shipping costs. We deduct the remaining 50% from your final invoice.
Platinum, palladium, and rhodium are part of a three-way catalytic converter. The elements each have a unique function when it comes to filtration of toxic car exhaust. The precious metals are essential to maintaining a healthy environment and allow vehicles to run without releasing toxic gasses into the air. There are a few ways to recycle your catalytic converters, and you should be getting paid to do so.
First, you must prepare your material correctly to have a more significant financial gain. The easiest way is to keep the shell on the monolith. Removal of the body makes it nearly impossible to identify the model of the converter and its value. Moreover, you should remove the pipes on both sides by trimming them up. Doing this saves the buyers much time and usually results in a slightly higher payout since you lower their labor costs.
PGM Recovery Systems provides a free online pricing guide for catalytic converter sellers in an effort to promote transparency and fair dealing in the marketplace.
As a small amount of platinum inside a sensor heats up, it generates a tiny electrical voltage which will indicate to the on-board computer current exhaust conditions. Over time, these sensors become foul and many people will replace and throw them away into the trash without realizing it has value. They melt and reuse the platinum extract from the end-of-life oxygen sensor. PGM Recovery Systems has a U.S. Patent process to reclaim the platinum and pays top dollar to their clients.
Electric Automotive Recycling
Automotive recycling is changing as the electric vehicle (EV) market begins to rapidly expand. In order to match the demand for EVs manufacturers would need a lot more metals from the battery packs. EVs require critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and graphite. In conventional cars, only two of these minerals are necessary, copper and manganese. In comparison to internal combustion vehicles, electric vehicles require six times as many critical minerals which means automotive recycling will play a large role when it comes to the production of these vehicles in the future.
Furthermore, The California Governor’s Executive Order is setting a course to end sales of internal combustion passenger vehicles by 2035. With this trajectory in mind, we can expect that around 83% of all cars will be battery-electric (BEV’s) by 2050. To meet the zero-emission mandates by 2050, we will need a 65x expansion of the mining of mining battery material.
The majority of the components in a vehicle at its end-of-life state are recycled and roughly 25% of all new vehicles are created from recyclable components. Considering the environmental challenges we face, this is extremely important. The circular economy of automotive recycling combats global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions while preserving the earth’s natural resources. As the automotive industry changes with electric vehicles, recycling these metals will become more and more important.
As a result, there is a lot of opportunity in this field to close the circular economy.