What type of catalyzed ceramic media is found in RCO equipment?
The catalyzed media is most often in the form of ceramic saddles or beads coated with Platinum (Pt) or Palladium (Pd). The value of the PGM material ranges from $5-20 per pound of media, depending on the catalyst loading, media type, and spot market prices for the PGM.
Catalyzed ceramic media – saddles and beads
Catalyzed ceramic saddles from a Regenerative Catalytic Oxidizer (RCO)
Bins of catalyzed ceramic saddles ready for milling at the smelter
Do all industrial manufacturing facilities have PGM-bearing catalyst material that can be recycled?
No. PGM-bearing catalyst material that can be recycled is typically only found in plants that use Regenerative Catalytic Oxidizers (RCO). If your plant only uses Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) equipment, it’s not likely that your plant has any PGM-bearing material to recycle.
Do most plant owners know they possess this high-value PGM-bearing material?
No. Unfortunately, most plant owners and demolition contractors don’t realize the value of these catalyzed ceramic materials. In many cases, the plant owner thinks it’s scrap metal with little or no value and simply pays for its disposal. Fortunately, many owners and contractors contact Red Fox Resources to help them evaluate their options. If PGM-bearing material is found, they often decide to recycle the catalyzed material using Red Fox Resources as their toll refiner.
In this situation, toll refining is defined as a situation in which the owner of the catalyzed material contracts the refining of the metal to another party (i.e. Red Fox Resources) for a fee, but the refined metal remains under the original ownership (i.e. plant owner) for final sale or disposition.
What are the typical steps of a toll refining project?
- Analyze several grab samples to characterize material
- Estimate recoverable value
- Provide quotation for services including:
- Logistics and transportation
- Assays and lot management
- Processing costs (per lb treated)
- Refining costs (per troy ounce recovered)
- Deliver and process material
- Weigh, mill, blend, sample, and assay
- Provide pro forma settlement showing results and costs
- Sell metal and make payment
What are the risks for a plant owner trying to work directly with a smelter?
With limited knowledge and experience with PGM recycling, there are many risks for the plant owner to proceed on their own.
- Not finding the right smelter to handle this particular material at reasonable costs
- Not clearly understanding the smelter’s terms and minimum concentration thresholds
- Not understanding the assay process and leveraging independent testing
- Not understanding the best way to package and transport the material
- Not having an experienced broker to represent their interests throughout the process
What are the benefits for the plant owner in working with Red Fox Resources to manage the toll refining process?
- A partner with extensive experience and knowledge of a variety of smelters
- A partner with extensive knowledge of appropriate terms, fees and minimum concentrations
- A partner with extensive logistics and transportation experience
- A partner with extensive knowledge of reputable labs and the assay process
- Avoiding unexpected surprises related to meeting PGM lot minimums
- An experienced partner that is continuously monitoring the smelting process
- Ensuring the maximum value is returned to the plant owner (i.e. client)
How long does a toll refining project take?
Depending on the project size and location, the toll refining process can take 1-6 months or longer. Experienced toll refiners like Red Fox Resources can help you assess your project and estimate the potential value and timeline to completion/payout.
What should plant owners look for in selecting a toll refining partner to broker their project?
This is a very specialized field with limited options. Make sure your due diligence includes at least the following.
- Transparency, a clear term sheet and an advocate at all points of the entire process
- Verifiable experience with other toll refining projects and known client references
- Knowledge of smelter options, industry contacts and industry norms
- Knowledge of assay exchange processes and splitting limit norms
- Knowledge of reputable independent labs and umpires
- Logistics experience including packaging, transportation and insurance
- No material moves without a fully executed term sheet
Get Started with Recycling Your Industrial Catalysts via Toll Refining
If you are interested in recycling scrap industrial catalysts or other emission control parts, please contact Red Fox Resources at www.redfoxresources.com or call 844-733-3695.