Scrap Catalytic Converters


It’s no secret that catalytic converters are expensive and have a good scrap value (well, the original equipment manufacturer ones do). But have you ever wondered why? What is it that makes them so sought after? The answer is: Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium. These three precious metals are used in the catalytic converter and are what makes it so expensive to buy. Read more about Metal Recycling


The three metals can be found in the central chamber of the catalytic converter, but don’t be tempted to break into it – the inside of a catalytic converter is considered hazardous waste. It should only be recycled by specialists who have the appropriate recycling and safety equipment.


Catalytic Converters  - the Recycling Process

When you sell your scrap car to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), the ATF will remove the catalytic converter (cat) as part of the de-pollution process. The ’cat’ is then stored temporarily before being passed on to a specialist recycling company.


The recycling company then use a process to extract the precious metals from the ‘cat’ and also to recycle the metal container. The process can vary, depending on the technology the company has in place.


The recycled platinum, rhodium, and palladium can be used as a raw material in many different products, including:


Medicine, Dentistry, Electrical components, Jewellery, Catalytic converters

If you would like to see the recycling take place, SAR Recycling Ltd in Immingham have a viewing area. They also allow you to see the processing, so you  can see the entire recycling procedure first-hand.

Catalytic Converters – Hazardous Waste or Controlled Waste?

Catalytic converters should only be recycled by trained personnel because they contain toxic chemicals. Although catalytic converters are classed as controlled waste in ATFs, this is only when they are intact, as they do not pose a significant risk.  

But as soon as the catalytic converter has been opened, so that the ceramic bricks are exposed to the air, the ‘cat’ is regarded as hazardous waste and should be handled and disposed of accordingly.

See How Much Your Car Is Worth

Rated 4.9/5 from 12,720 reviews
Rated 4.9/5 from 12,720 reviews