$500M Seized In Nationwide Catalytic Converter Takedown

Know Your Customer (KYC) more important than ever. Who are you really doing business with? On November 2, the Justice Department took down a nationwide catalytic converter theft ring with forfeiture more than $500 million in assets including homes, bank accounts, cash, and luxury vehicles. The Justice Department News stated, “Federal, state, and local law … Read more

Converter Recycling: An Updated Platinum Group Metals Outlook for 2022 and Beyond

Back in July, we summarized the 2022 outlook for Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) with excerpts from the Johnson Matthey Market Report. The report proved true on many fronts. Business conditions have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Industrial demand for Platinum has remained robust. The war in Ukraine has restricted Palladium supplies. Operational challenges have restricted … Read more

Converter Recycling: Platinum Group Metal Outlook 2022

Platinum Group Metals When you recycle your scrap catalytic converters on recovery or assay, you are selling physical metal into the market. It is no different than selling aluminum or copper, it is a commodity. Each catalytic converter contains some or all of three precious metals, called Platinum Group Metals (PGMs): Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium. … Read more

EV Batteries: To Reuse or To Recycle

EV Battery Forms and Use There are five main kinds of batteries used in electric cars: lithium-ion, lithium-iron phosphate, nickel-metal hydride, lead-acid, and ultracapacitors. Lithium-ion batteries are the most predominantly used battery in all-electric vehicles (AEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) because of their high power-to-weight ratio, high energy efficiency, and high-temperature performance. They … Read more

Converter Recycling: The Cats Of The Future Are Not Simple

A few years ago, I shared this overview of how exhaust systems and converter loadings are changing. Peter Duncan, General Manager of Market Research for Johnson Matthey, had shown us how the exhaust systems were changing to include more and complex catalytic converters that have different loadings and functions—some converters not even containing precious metals. … Read more

Know Your Customer in Converter Recycling: Who Are You Really Doing Business With?

Companies of all sizes and in all industries, including automotive recycling, can benefit from knowing their customer or supplier and avoid working with untrustworthy or illegal companies. Educating yourself is important so that you can never be taken advantage of when it comes to selling scrap catalytic converters. With the increase in precious metals prices … Read more

Converter Recycling: What’s in a Name? Recycler, Collector, Processor, Smelter, Refiner

This can be a confusing business on many levels. Do you sell your converters by-the-piece for a “fair market value?” Do you sell them on assay or precious metals recovery for the “intrinsic” value less processing and refining charges? Who are you selling to exactly? What is the difference between converter recycling companies? Who is … Read more

Converter Recycling: 4 Big Problems with Assay

You finally made the switch from selling your converters by the piece to selling them on assay. And you have found, like most of us have, that it is totally worth it. Your average cat sale is up 5-45% depending on how you were being treated by your buyer.  So, with assay, what could possibly … Read more

The Future of Mobility & Automotive Recycling: An Update on Battery Recycling & Outlook on Clean Energy Trends

On Friday, November 12, at the 78th Annual ARA Convention & Expo, in Dallas, TX, we assembled an expert panel to discuss what “electrification” will mean for automotive recycling. Dirk Spiers, Founder of Spiers New Technologies, and Lea Malloy, Head of EV Battery Solutions of Cox Automotive Mobility, now partners, provided an update on what … Read more

The Future of Converter Recycling: What Happens to Platinum Group Metals (PGMS) if Combustion Engines Become Obsolete by 2030

Will the world’s governments and automakers meet their climate-control-driven mandates to discontinue sales of diesel and gasoline cars in favor of zero emission vehicles by 2030? And what does the electrification movement mean for the supply and demand of precious metals predominantly used in automotive catalyst to control emissions? The “Group of Seven (G7) nations … Read more

Transportation Mega-trends Future Complexities Mean Future OPPORTUNITIES

Autonomous Driving, Connectivity, Electrification of Vehicles, and Shared Mobility (ACES) Tesla is now the fifth-most-valuable company in the S&P 500, overtaking Facebook at that position. Cars that connect to each other and the road are here to stay. Connected features like navigation, internet, apps, driving controls are no longer luxury items, but standard features. Models … Read more

The Future of Auto Catalyst, Hybrid Batteries & Fuel Cells

For nearly thirty years the automotive industry has been talking about hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cells without producing a very large market to date. Emission standards across the globe are becoming increasingly stricter. What does this mean for converter, hybrid battery, and fuel cell recycling? The Future is More Complex The tightening emission standards … Read more

Converter Recycling: A 2021 New Year’s Revolution

Everyone is going to be looking to bounce back economically from 2020 and selling the precious metals in your converters on assay is a superb way to accomplish that. Selling on Assay. What You Give is What you Get. The best part of selling converters on assay is that whatever precious metals are in your … Read more

Jingle Jingle: We Don’t Co-Mingle Your Cats

How are your cats refined? Things you should know. One way, assay. This is what we preach at United Catalyst Corporation. There is one way to recycle a scrap catalytic converter. It must be de-canned, milled, sampled, assayed, smelted, and refined. This process may sound simple at first glance, but do not be fooled, to … Read more

The Scoop on Interest and Metal Price Discounts

In converter recycling, the best recyclers are partnering with companies that educate. We encourage our customers to sell on assay, the analytic procedure that measures the content or quality of a metal or ore contained in the catalytic converters. In this, the fourth installation of our series, Getting the Most from Your Converters with A … Read more

Auto Catalyst Value Chain: COVID-19 & Beyond

The Experts Weigh In Recently, I had the privilege of moderating and participating in a global webinar regarding the auto catalyst value chain. Some of the analysts, refiners, and fellow processors that I respect most were on the panel. Dr. Jonathan Butler, Head of Business Development for Mitsubishi Corporation, kicked off the webinar with an … Read more

Converter Recycling: COVID-19 Challenges and Solutions

Finding Time for What’s Important This is a time of incredible uncertainty. With limited work crews in many recycling facilities, having the manpower and finding time to process cars is a challenge. Keeping the company books in order is equally important so that you can make a contingency plan for varying volumes. It can be … Read more

Converter Recycling: Playing the Long Game

A Historical Perspective Nearly thirty years ago I started my career as a Customer Service Representative at Putman Investments in Boston. The Gulf War was in full swing. Like life in the time of COVID-19, the world was on shifting sand. In handling calls, we were trained to calm investors’ fears and remind them that … Read more

Know Your Customer (KYC) in Converter Recycling

Who are you really doing business with? Corruption. Bribery. Fraud. Money laundering. Illegal financing or activities (e.g., funding terrorism). Companies of all sizes and in all industries, including automotive recycling, can benefit from knowing your customer or client and avoid working with untrustworthy or illegal companies. Every article I write is committed to educating you … Read more

Continuing Your Education

Converter Processor, Smelter, and Refiner? Does It Matter To Me? Our mantra at United Catalyst Corporation is Getting You the Most from Your Converters with A Process You Can Trust. It is more than a slogan. It is our mission. It is our brand promise. It is what gives our work meaning. Every article I … Read more

Steel May Be Depressed

Even as steel continues to dip another 3.4% over the last two weeks or 27% since peaking in late March, scrap catalytic converter values continue to rise with the strength of the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). Palladium itself up over $200 since last month rising for a fifth straight week as of the writing of … Read more

The 4 Ps of Converter Recycling Profitability

At our company, United Catalyst Corporation, we have a mantra, it is Getting the Most from Your Converters with A Process You Can Trust. It is as simple as four Ps; a Process you can trust; a Program you can trust; a Partner you can trust; and the Power of education. A Process You Can … Read more

The Future of Auto Catalyst, Hybrid Batteries & Fuel Cells

For nearly thirty years the automotive industry has been talking about hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cells without producing a very large market to date. Emission standards across the globe are becoming increasingly stricter. What does this mean for converter, hybrid battery, and fuel cell recycling? The Future is More Complex The tightening emission standards … Read more

Understanding Metal Price Spreads

Palladium has been on a historical run the past two months to as high as $1553 toz. But why don’t we receive the published bid or spot price for metal that we are selling today? Two Reasons for A Metal Price Spread Bullion vs. Sponge When precious metal is refined from catalyst it is not … Read more

Autocatalyst Recycling Outlook for 2019

Looking back is always easier than looking forward. And last year was a good year for autocatalyst recycling. And for 2019 the outlook remains positive.               The strong demand for autocatalyst, increased vehicle recycling, and a short supply continues to push the Palladium price higher. Lower demand from the … Read more

Selling Basics and Advanced Principles

For those of us who travel to conferences and trade shows with recyclers, it is one of the busiest times of the year. It is also the time when we get to do the most educational training sessions. Personally, if I could, I would travel all year educating recyclers on developing a profitable converter recycling … Read more

The Platinum Group Metals (PGM) Market Watch

During the third week of May each year, stakeholders in the platinum industry gather in London, England for what is known as Platinum Week. Receptions, lectures, and forecasts abound. At our company, we encourage recyclers to sell catalytic converters on assay; the analytic procedure that measures the content of precious metals in the catalytic converters. … Read more

Getting the Most From Your Converters With a Process You Can Trust

The Scoop on Interest and Metal Price Discounts In converter recycling, the best recyclers are partnering with companies that educate. We encourage our customers to sell on assay, the analytic procedure that measures the content or quality of a metal or ore contained in the catalytic converters. In this, the fourth installation of our series, … Read more

Getting the Most from Your Converters with A Process You Can Trust: Understand the Importance of Weights

In converter recycling, the best recyclers know their numbers and partner with companies that educate. We encourage our customers to sell converters on assay, the verified analysis of the precious metal contained in the converters less the customary recycling costs. You want to use a scientific method because it is reliable and can be validated. … Read more

Know Your Numbers

In converter recycling, the best recyclers know their numbers and partner with companies that educate. Knowing key metrics about your converter loads safeguards you against misleading key metrics, like your average price per unit, and increases your bottom line. Every recycler looks at his or her average converter price. It’s an easy metric to track … Read more

Four Disciplines To Make You Win Business In 2018

The first of the year is an exciting time to think about and work on the business. Creating a strategic plan can be exhilarating. The vision is set. The team is on the same page. Then work happens. It’s called a whirlwind; the urgent day-to-day activities of keeping the business running that devour the time … Read more