JM's expertise in pgms and specialist metallurgy
Our expertise in pgms and specialist metallurgy is all about the efficient recycling, fabrication and use of pgms and other precious metals like gold and silver. Our pgm recycling activities rely on our deep knowledge of material science, chemistry, speciation, pyrometallurgy, advanced hydrometallurgy processing and analytical science. With this, we have developed a suite of accurate, advanced and efficient processes for measuring, extracting and separating pgms from waste materials including spent process catalysts, autocatalysts, secondary mine residues and jewellery or scrap metal.
As well as being the world’s largest recycler of pgms, we’re one of the only companies able to refine pgms to market grade sponge, including iridium and ruthenium, and can accommodate feeds containing gold and silver.
We offer closed loop recycling - when a pgm-containing catalyst reaches the end of its useful life, our customers can return it to us to extract the valuable metals. We then use this extracted pgm to produce a new catalyst, greatly reducing the cost of replacement. We also offer our recycling service to anyone who wants to extract pgms from used material, ranging from catalytic converters in old vehicles to the sweepings from jewellers’ floors.
Forging new paths
But it’s not all about recycling. Through our research we continue to deepen our understanding of pgms and their chemistry, handling, formulation, solubility and reactivity. This allows us to develop materials and determine under what conditions they work best, predict behaviour and find novel ways of using pgms. For example, we add them to cheaper metals to produce steel-based alloys that are more resistant to corrosion and can tolerate high temperatures, but at much lower cost. In these 'graded alloys', pgms are incorporated only in the outer regions of the alloy, where their corrosion-resistance properties are most required. We are also finding more efficient and less expensive ways to make pgm-containing components, by fabricating them from powders using techniques such as injection moulding or 3D printing.