What Is That Huge Catalytic Converter You Just Pulled Off a Truck or Bus?

If you’re in the business of scrapping junked cars, you already know what catalytic converters look like – they’re compact units that weigh only a few pounds. You can easily remove one from a car using only a cutoff saw or even a hack saw.

But let’s say that you just got a fleet of junked diesel-powered buses or trucks, or even a few diesel-powered construction vehicles. You take a look underneath and – whoa! – you’ve got something really, really big to remove. What are you looking at? And does it contain tons of platinum and other precious metals like palladium that you can recycle?

Shown: A school bus catalytic converter, courtesty of Times-Herald.com, 5/12/09 http://www.times-herald.com/local/Therma-Cat-test-could-clean-the-air-735458

Shown: A school bus catalytic converter, courtesty of Times-Herald.com, 5/12/09 http://www.times-herald.com/local/Therma-Cat-test-could-clean-the-air-735458

Welcome to the World of Catalytic Converter/Muffler Combos

What you just discovered isn’t a plain Jane catalytic converter, but a unit that contains both a muffler and a catalytic converter, so it reduces both sound and emissions. Sometimes these units are installed as original equipment on buses and trucks and sometimes they are aftermarket items that are added later on. In general, about half the volume of them is dedicated to the catalytic function, and about half to deadening sound. So even if they look like they must contain large quantities of platinum, that might not be the case.

According to product descriptions from Racing Industries, a company that manufactures aftermarket models, their catalytic sections, “are typically metallic substrates coated with a platinum-based precious metal catalyst. The catalyst allows a flameless burning or oxidation of diesel exhaust pollutants.”

How Much Platinum Do These Units Contain?

It depends on the size – and the size of these units varies considerably. Some are made for smaller diesel engines that power school buses and smaller trucks; others are made for larger diesel engines that power “semis” – those big interstate trucks. If you contact the manufacturer of the units that you have on hand, a representative might be able to give you an estimate of how much platinum they contain.

If you have a quantity of them on hand, it can be worth your while to recycle their platinum. If you call us at 800-426-2344, we’ll be happy to tell you what your options are.

Related Posts:

How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters
What Precious Metals are Inside Catalytic Converters and What Are They Worth?
Where Are Precious Metals Hiding in Junked Cars
Non-Automotive Catalytic Converters Contain Precious Metals Too