PGMs platinum

Pgms and specialist metallurgy

Efficient use of natural resources

Our platinum group metals (pgms) recycling activities take advantage of our detailed knowledge of material science, pyrometallurgy, highly advanced hydrometallurgical processes and analytical science. This has allowed us to design and develop a suite of highly advanced and efficient processes for extracting and separating pgms from used material. As well as being the world’s largest recycler of pgms, we’re one of the only companies able to refine the five pgms to market grade sponge, including iridium and ruthenium, and can accommodate feeds containing gold and silver.

This means that 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.

Our established expertise and trusted reputation means we provide a service that ensures you can reuse valuable materials and scrap while resting assured that your metal is safe, secure and fully accounted for.

Forging new paths

Through our research we continue to deepen our understanding of pgms by conducting studies into their chemistry, handling, formulation, solubility and reactivity. This allows us to develop novel catalysts and determine under what conditions they work best, in addition to predicting behaviour and finding novel uses for pgms. For example, we are adding them to cheaper metals to produce steel-based alloys with enhanced properties of pgms, such as resistance to corrosion and 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.