Catalytic Converters

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Catalytic converters…
  • Are selling for incredible prices if you know how to sell scrap metal on eBay.
  • have been on nearly every car produced since the late 1970′s. 
  • make every car cost $500 more out of pocket.
  • contain Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium as catalysts for their reactions.
  • Because Catalytic Converters need to be hot, they let the most pollution out durring the first five minutes before the car warms up.
  • are often stolen, especially out of cars that leave them accessible by design.
  • can fetch between $5 and $200 at your local scrap yard.
catconverter Catalytic Converters
The rare metals of a catalytic converter are found plated on the
“honeycomb” material that is housed within the stainless steel shell.
Catalytic convertors are a hot commodity, especially lately, as the value of precious metals has sky-rocketed. I found this chart of prices that was released from a catcon scrapping company from texas in March 2010. Precious metals have increased even more since then, so these prices may have increased. A quick overview would show that GM catcons are worth more in general, so that’s something to keep in mind. At the yard nearest me, if they can’t figure out the exact type of convertor, they still pay something like $10-$20.  Also, check out this visual guide of different catcons:  http://www.adccatalytic.com/pictures.



Large GM $106
Large Breadloaf GM $86
Airtube GM $70
4 DOT $74
AC $47
Straight Edge $83
Fish Tail $48
Jeep $67
Large Ford $48
Standard $44
Pre $21
Aftermarket $7
Bead $31
Double Plug $43
Jumbo $74
Exotic $189
XL $148
Large Foreign $130
Med Foreign $101
Small Foreign $82
Low Grade/CI $50
Foreign Pre $31
Scorpion $82
Center 02 $121
Torpedo $50
Diesel $24
I will leave you with a story I was told the other day. There was a former GM engineer in Florida a few years back who was payed to retire a before the financial meltdown. Just before he left the company, he was assigned to deal with discussing the catalytic convertor theft problem with one of his suppliers, and how it was a much bigger problem for GM then anybody else. When he retired, he started buying up specific types of catalytic convertors from wrecking yards, scrap yards, or ebay, and cutting out the honeycomb shaped insides. Eventually he had enough to fill up five or so 55 gallon drums. Using his connections from a few years earlier, he sold them for $750000! 
Have some input? Leave a comment!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

If it was 3/4 of a million bucks then he had way more than five 55 gallon drums.

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The Irrationalist November 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I've never actually broken open a cat cause I'm too eager to turn it in for money! It should have been close at least a half million though because Rhodium was selling for $10,000 per ounce in 2008. according to this link (http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5542957/description.html) there is up to 1200 ppm of Pt, 200 ppm of Pd and 300 ppm Rh in top grade catcons. So that means in 2008, 1kg of honey comb was worth $202.80 per kg in spot metal value. If the honey comb was crushed, and if it was 3 times as dense as water, then 55 gallon drums would be worth over $600,000 in metal (after processing). So who knows!

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ivy_huffer February 5, 2011 at 11:59 am

So is it worth your time to break them open and get the honeycomb I turned in a catalytic convertor to our scrap yard and all I got was $5.00 So I am thinking that it would be better to open it up right?

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The Irrationalist February 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm

@ivy_huffer You should check the price of whatever catalytic convertor you are selling on eBay. If you dont have anyplace to sell for at least those prices, then sell them on eBay.

http://scrappingmetal.blogspot.com/2011/02/selling-scrap-metal-on-ebay.html

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MATHU September 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

NEVER BREAK THEM UP !
THE ABOVE CHART SHOWS THE PRICES OF TYPES OF CATS !
NOT PRICE PER POUND !
WE KNOW HOW MUCH “PARTS PER MILLION “Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium IS IN EACH TYPE BY WHAT KIND THEY ARE.
IF YOU BREAK THEM OPEN, YOU CAN TELL WITCH ONE OF THE CATS THE CATALYST IS FROM !
THEN YOU GET LOW BALLED !

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ScrapMetalJunkie September 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

You sound like you are experienced with catalytic convertor refining. Is this the case?

Also, I I don’t think every day scrappers should be breaking down their cats. That would be a big mistake. BUT, if you have the resources, there would be nothing stopping you from buying a few hundred cats, breaking them all down to the honey comb then sending them all into a refiner. A smelter would fire assay them and pay you a pretty damn good price based on what was recovered.

The thing about buying catalytic convertors is the time it takes to save up large enough quantities to refine, or at least thats how it seems to me.

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Scrapman May 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

most of our buyers recommend not buying them if they are broke open or if the honeycomb is loose.

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Strizzle D December 13, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Which*

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Shane August 20, 2012 at 6:27 am

If you want to make more money you brake them down, then take that to a refiner. The refiner will test the batch you have. Then write you a check for about 60% spot and you are on your way.

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MOKE September 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Refineries will only process a minimum quantity of 2000 lbs as the cost & technicalities of sampling become uneconomical for less weight. @ 2 lb’s ea that’s about 1000 converters. Bear in mind refineries will only pay for the metal recovered. If you have only aftermarket converters which have less than 500 ppm of metal that works out to about $7/lb today. I would not recommend for the average scrapper to open their cats as whoever they sell to will not be able to identify the type of material and assume the lowest grade ($7/lb as of today).

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samantha woods October 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm

i have catalytic converters to sell.

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Jonny January 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

So which is most profitable? Buying then selling, buying then extracting the powder to send to refinery or buying then extracting then refining yourself? It is most unclear after months of searching which is truly better. I have been trying to identify cats and their content for a while now and looking for different methods of doing it. I know there are different sources of information which can tell you how much is in certain cats by their serial number etc. where are these such vital documents hiding I wonder. Surely the manufacturers of the cats would know. How would i find these guys? The only way for me to find out for sure is to just do it. Shame though as it is going to cost me money to prove it right or wrong. I feel a bit like I’m on the edge of the rabbit hole…I hope it isn’t a dream. If it is I will happily move on. However I am not in the US so maybe someone could help me as I’m not gonna be doing any of this stuff next door to you.
Cheers ;0)

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mike welsh February 26, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Im in western MD. If cat is open, they will not buy. They want to know Year,make, and model of vehicle. Usually they want a picture of the cat on the vehicle before they will buy (for right money). Or they offer $15.

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Eastern Applied Research March 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm

We just added a handheld XRF analyzer to our line that helps identify the precious metals in catalytic converters. It seems like XRF will have more benefit in this application for the refiner; but has a place. This is one of the better articles I have found on the topic, nice work.

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wagner March 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I’m a buyer of scrap catalyst 10 years here in Brazil, the region deCampinas-SP. Buy 300kg per month, but I know many buyers easily and with a strong partner and be able to buy 1 ton solid months.
I wonder if this company is interested in buying my stuff and how we can be trading.
I thank the attention, good business

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patrick March 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

i have about 400 cats from audi, MB, volvo, some jaguars. i dont want to sell it locally(usually offers $100 per each), if some one can tell me how much i get it approximately per lb if i send them to TX to refine?

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shawn April 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm

WELL NOT TRUE SOMEONE IS BEEFING UP THERE FRIENDS MONEY MAKING ANYWAYS HERES THE TRUTH WE SENT OFF 16, 55 GALLON BUCKETS AND ONLY GOT BACK $102,000 YOUR FRIEND IS LYING TO MUCH LOL PLATINUM AVERAGES AT 1,500 TO 1,700 A TROY ONCE GET ON YOUR GAME CAUSE ITS GONNA START GETTING HARDER TO PROFIT FROM IT UNLESS YOUR LIKE US AND BUY JUNK VEHICLE’S AND CATALYTIC CONVERTERS THEN YOUR PROFIT SKY ROCKETS

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ScrapMetalJunkie April 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Remember, Rhodium was $10,000 a troy ounce back then…

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shawn April 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm

They pay by the troy once which i believe is about 32 grams or something like that if you have 40 something bmw and forign you got your self alot of money and also most companys want you to clean the combs/platinum/rodiaum/palidiam out it pay awesome to just send the stuff inside…but make sure when cleaning out dont cut with something that will get metal and stuff inside cause could cost you more in the long run

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daniel beganovic August 24, 2013 at 2:20 am

Hey do not do that you will lose money 400 is not enough to refine
Trust me we are cutting them open as I am writing this we buy over 130, 000 pices a yr little more then 10, 000 month 6784649478 all you need is better grading some pices alone I pay $290 I hope you contact me

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junkman April 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I am in Australia, all these cat buyers here have been telling us the ass has dropped out of the business offering about $35 – $50 aust dollars for a good oem high grade falcon or holden/chev cat.

I know they are bullshitting us, but what can we do……

I could get a shitload together for the right price

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Janice Guined September 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I have a catillic converter off of a 1987 chevette and wondered what it was worth. Can you tell what I can get for it?

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VATO November 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I’m a scrapper. Find that more the better’. Now with this truck. Should I strip it of it’s radiator alternator catalytic converter before selling it to the junk yard which they give 200$ a ton. 10$ more a ton than the scrap yard which gives u 190$ a ton. Is the smaller stuff going o help me profit more . Or just leave the truck alone and let them give me 200$ a ton. I’m. Keeping the wheels. Thznx ! Anthony help !!

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VATO November 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Do I sell the alternator and any good parts to a junk yard ? Or throw them on the scale at the scrap yard. ? Wich yields more )$$$

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heellllpp December 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I need a price range on a 2000 chevy s10 and a 2000 mitshubishi catcatcons anything will help.

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Vince March 21, 2014 at 7:45 am

Where can I find a database to indicate exactly the break down of PT, PD and RH per catalytic converter type? Or car model? Thanks

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tony September 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm

I will buy all you converters and diesel cores 404 4440899 let me know

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William September 4, 2014 at 11:57 pm

You can’t go by the weight of the honeycomb. It is ceramic that is plated with the precious metals, so only a small part of the weight has any value.

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