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  1. #1
    gustavus is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    What I'm Planning for my Catylitc Converters.

    I've been saving cats for a bit over two years, originally I had planned to refine the precious metals out myself. I did a small lot and found the task rather time consuming, like who wants to sit and watch a flask of liquids evaporate so that you have a concentrated solution from which you can now precipitate your precious metals as salts which now have to be calcined then melted into a button.

    Here's where common sense kicked into high gear, sell the darn things. Alright there are many buyers out there offering to purchase, all claiming to pay you the most for your cats. All you have to do is mail them in for payment.

    Then there's those buyer further up in the food chain that offer to purchase with an assay. Ding a bell goes off, who's assay. Alright the buyer is a de-canner, he has a crew removing the guts from your cats which he claims to have an assay done on your behalf. I'm thinking yea right, how do I know that the buyer has not diluted my lot with crap from another customers lot that would assay lower than mine.

    Do you really think this could happen in this day and age, someone trying to outsmart me.

    Ok lets bypass the de-canner, go straight to a refinery. I remove the guts myself, grind everything into a fine powder in my home made ball mill. When I have enough milled powders saved up.

    I will have to combine everything into one large drum, rotate that drum for several hours maybe overnight into the next day. What we're doing here is homogenizing all the powders into a harmonious batch from which I will remove a sample to send out for an independent assay one I pay for.

    From my independent assay I will now know the exact amount of precious metals I have and what to expect for payment. Now I go shopping for a refiner, the one I choose will get a sample, he will assay then get back to me, we will then compare assays. If they're only a fraction off we would split the difference.

    Also before I shipped my material, I would heat it to drive off any accumulated moisture, inset a moisture meter making note of the moisture content. The refiner would also be informed of this. Because he is going to do the same procedure, my drum will be hermetically sealed as well with the legal type seal along with the Umpire if I'm not able to be present in person..

    Seal the drum with a legal seal, inform the refiner that you will be present when the drum is opened then refined or have an Umpire present on your behalf to keep an eye on the process. We wouldn't want out material to become diluted now would we.

    If you believe any of the above, ask yourself this.

    It;s a proven fact that a poorly tuned automobile can and will burn out the guts from a catalytic, the buyers account for this by saying they will pay such and such if a cat is half or one third full. Here we go giving someone else first count, the only way one would know is to open up the cat to know how much biscuit is left inside.

    On the other side of the coin, buyer has a schedule that he pays such and such for this type of cat - period.

    Well if that cat came from a poorly tuned automobile the biscuit could be intact but the precious metals could have blown out the pipe onto the street to be washed down the storm drain.

    Many farmers cut and bail hay from the roadside, you could have platinum in your cheese and the milk you drink.

    The well maintained automobile should have a reasonable amount of precious metals left and end of life. The only real way to know for sure is to have an assay performed on the material.

    Make sense, sure but the cost of having an assay done on very individual cat would break the bank. This is why I de-can my own cats, mill them into powder for refining.



    It is a long term project, it has taken me two years to save up enough material, and even then I will not know for sure until I open up the last of them to see if I have enough to ship.

    So if your confused buying cats, get into line. The winners are those who are getting first count on your hard earned goods.

    The biscuits are made from a ceramic, under a microscope the surface has millions of irregularities, the biscuit is dipped into a precious metals liquid solution made up from precious metals of the platinum group. The solution finds it's way into the pores where it stays to act as a catalyst.

    My guess is that the more expensive cats are double dipped giving them a much thicker coating of precious metals.

    Roadside Contamination.



    Home made ball mill
    Last edited by gustavus; 10-01-2011 at 12:50 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Those are my concerns as well. I am starting to get a pile of cats going and I have NO idea who I would want to sell to.

    CL is flooded with cat buyers. I am confident none of them are going to give me the best price out there. I certainly want to get top dollar for what I have.

    Makes me nervous to send out a shipment of cats and not know if I am going to get worked over.

    I thought I read somewhere a few years back that refiners want the cat whole. Can anyone confirm or deny that? Decanning them would certainly save on weight/ship costs.

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    set yourself a % magin, sell for that or higher, avoid the politics I say.

    Or process yourself, then try to find a "fair" buyer for your PGM's...


    If I buy cats at $20 each now, qand can flick for $60 each next week...why wait 12 mths to hope to get a fair refiner to pay me $68 each??

    (prices for example only)
    "roaming the streets, looking for treats"


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    I don't need the money right now. Plus I would rather wait till I have a large shipment for a better pricing. I have time to figure things out, I only have 5 cats atm.

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  7. #6
    Mechanic688's Avatar
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    http://www.firstamericancore.com/prices.html
    I would think you could save them up and then send to someone like this one, shipping them in a gaylord box by freight truck. Might be the cheapest way to make some decent money. Being that we are not experts in assaying the PM's, we have to trust someone to not hose us too hard.
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  8. #7
    gustavus is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torker Man View Post
    set yourself a % magin, sell for that or higher, avoid the politics I say.

    Or process yourself, then try to find a "fair" buyer for your PGM's...


    If I buy cats at $20 each now, qand can flick for $60 each next week...why wait 12 mths to hope to get a fair refiner to pay me $68 each??

    (prices for example only)
    Thank you for sharing your purchasing philosophy to the forum members, buy low an flip quick.

    How would you handle a situation like this, a wrecking yard takes in cars, uses the excavator to rip out rads and cats, The procedure is very fast and economical but for obvious reasons the cat comb does not always survive the abuse. It is now loose comb.

    In another situation the car has bottomed out on a speed bump in doing so damaged the catalyst inside the cat.

    Here is yet another situation, in farm country you will find many muffler shops with pails of loose comb and bead. The shops will cut the cat open while it is still on the car then remove the contents then re weld the can shut, why.

    Because the farmers burn marked fuel in their cars and the dye clogs up the converter. Never mind the legalities on this issue, this is the real world and it happens. I'm not here to discuss law nor be any mans keeper.

    You say to set yourself a percentage, I'm going to ask on what basis have you arrived at you percentage. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

    Here;s mine, for the sake of argument lets say that there is at end of life 3 grams of precious metals in each converter, given that each cat averages 3 lbs that's 1 gram per pound of comb or bead recovered.

    Using that math, 2000 lbs of cat guts at 1 gram would give me a return of $97,942 USD at todays spot price on platinum. Hope your following this, because I have low balled my estimate that 2000 pounds could average upwards of 3 grams per pound - WOW $300,000.00 sweet American dollars. Even if it's fiat I'll take it.

    Dendritics Precious Metals Calculator http://dendritics.com/scales/mck.asp...rOzt=&Markup=0

    Whenever there is large sums of money involved there will always be some hooky poky smoke screen to obscure the truth from you.

    Cats I purchase are brought to my shop, usually in bulk, opened up the contents weighed with a fraction deducted for moisture content before paying out. I have never graded a cat to be only partially full and do not charge for cutting.

    Water weighs 9.9 lbs to the gallon.
    Last edited by gustavus; 10-01-2011 at 09:41 AM.

  9. #8
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    Are you going to sell outright, then, rather than refine? That's what I gathered from your first post and what he's saying.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

  10. #9
    gustavus is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    Are you going to sell outright, then, rather than refine? That's what I gathered from your first post and what he's saying.
    Living the life of a scrapper I neglected things like paying into a pension plan and saving for the future, somehow I always knew that I as long as I had my wits about me I would be earning my own keep.

    Two plans came into focus one being cats, the other photography so I started collecting and doing research on catalytic converters, joined the gold forum.

    Most of what I have learned is from being independent from any forum, reading books along with google searches.

    Yes I have refined a small batch the recovery is too low to make it viable. It didn't take me long to figure out sending the material out to a refinery well equipped to process my material would give me the highest returns on my money after expenses.

    All I had to do now was figure out out to protect my investment, conclusion remove the contents, mill the material the pay for an independent assay sharing the results with the refiner who would also do his assay.

    You have heard the saying a lock only keeps an honest man honest.

    From the small batch I have recovered at a lose, plan to use the platinum and palladium in my photography, I will have enough to las me a score of lifetimes. But thats another subject altogether.
    Last edited by gustavus; 10-01-2011 at 10:53 AM.

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    So you're going to use what you've already refined for your photography. Do you have any unrefined cats?

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    The pm is imbeded in the ceramic cone, dont know if that can be burned out bu ny use. so if the cone is there I would surmize the pms are there.

    every thing I have reqd over the last 10 years tells me not to remove the ceramic from the cats, because different manufacturers use different % of pm in their cats, that is why one (BMW/Jaguar) will be worth $200+ and a larger GM cat will be worth $45 +. this depends on where the auto manufacturer sells most of its cars. different countries have different emission standards. prices I have seen in loose ceramic is $11 $12 per lb because of the above. each cat contains 1to 2 lb of ceramic so take the ceramic out of a BMW cat and get $24 for it, or sell the cat whole and get $200 plus, sounds like a no brainer to me. I use a co that I sell to in Dothan al. they have never cheated me and give the best prices I have found in over 10 years, if you have a gaylord box full I would consider strongly contacting them. I have said this several times when it comes to cats you better know exactly what you are doing or know some one who does. the visible difference between an aftermarket cat worth $15 and an OEM cat worth $125 is very slight unless you know what you are looking for. I will gladly broker a deal on cats for a small % and guarantee you the best profit or give you the name of the co and you can work your own deal.
    Last edited by EcoSafe; 10-01-2011 at 03:13 PM.

  13. #12
    gustavus is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    So you're going to use what you've already refined for your photography. Do you have any unrefined cats?
    Yes Mick I have last count 50 cats with about 500 lbs of milled cats which I ground up last year.

    The batch I refined was about 100 lbs, this material even though I have stripped it of platinum and palladium will still have rhodium in it.

    Rhodium is very very resistant to acids making it impossible to leach out of the substrate.

    In the early days cats were being shipped to an African copper smelter, today I believe there is two refineries in the US that have Plasma Arc furnaces capable of processing raw material.

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    In my town there are 3 yards who buy cats some just pay $15 each some pay $25 but one consistently pays never less then $40 for me that's the way to go .
    25 plus years ago i had a Plymouth Sapporo car, I figure in my ignorance the cat was taking away performance . This cat was unique as it was bolted together. The non scrapper ignorant young guy I was chopped out the nice 6 month honeycombs into the garbage pail. To bad i knew not to save it. By the way i lost low end performance from less back pressure and since the 2.6 4-banger was not high winded any way. Better breathing made no real difference at top.
    Last edited by Copper Head; 10-01-2011 at 03:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustavus View Post
    Water weighs 9.9 lbs to the gallon.
    Just FYI, measued by US standards, a gallon of water should weigh about 8.35 pounds

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    Since he doesn't live in the US maybe he's going off an imperial gallon...but we digress.
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  17. #16
    gustavus is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by KZBell View Post
    Since he doesn't live in the US maybe he's going off an imperial gallon...but we digress.
    Yea it is the imperial gallon which weighs 9.9 lbs. Now that's cleared up a short video of my ball mill in action. I'm pulverizing the china with the gold trim into powder so that I may fit more into the crucible.

    I use the mill for everything, computer chips down to cats.

    http://s814.photobucket.com/albums/z...t=100_4803.mp4

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    Torker Man's Avatar
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    that looks very well made Gus.

    Is the internal wall smooth? or did you fit ridges to 'make' the balls tumble?


    Thanks.

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    very interesting thread I buy around 1000 cats per week and I have sold assay straight and decanned I prefer to sell all except rhodium cats whole as you make more money with rhodium selling assay to a reputable refinery the only place a vote against selling to would be metalmetco they ripped me off 2 times if you need help figuring out who to sell to please feel free to contact me

  20. #19
    gustavus is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximumMetal View Post
    very interesting thread I buy around 1000 cats per week and I have sold assay straight and decanned I prefer to sell all except rhodium cats whole as you make more money with rhodium selling assay to a reputable refinery the only place a vote against selling to would be metalmetco they ripped me off 2 times if you need help figuring out who to sell to please feel free to contact me
    PM sent via email.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximumMetal View Post
    very interesting thread I buy around 1000 cats per week and I have sold assay straight and decanned I prefer to sell all except rhodium cats whole as you make more money with rhodium selling assay to a reputable refinery the only place a vote against selling to would be metalmetco they ripped me off 2 times if you need help figuring out who to sell to please feel free to contact me
    Ok this is news to me. How would I know what cat I have as far as rhodium is concerned?


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