How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

If you are an administrator at a hospital, chances are good that you have an unusual opportunity . . .

You can turn unused supplies and equipment into a significant source of income

Are you taking advantage of the opportunity to recycle all the unused precious metals that can be found in your facilities? If not, let’s find out how.

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It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

We have noticed that it is relatively difficult to find scrap gold in dentists’ offices that are closing, probably because those dentists are savvy enough to capture and sell gold items, not sell them at bargain prices. Silver, however, is another matter. Where can you find silver to buy, and then recycle using a qualified precious metals recycler like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners?

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How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

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Valuable and precious metals are used in many medical devices. But before we explain where those metals are used, let’s answer this question: Where can you buy scrapped medical devices? The short answer to that question is, it can be difficult to obtain large quantities of used medical devices… Still, it is possible to obtain and recycle quantities of some medical devices that can offer you a good return on your investment if you send them to us to be recycled. Let’s take a closer look.

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Easy-to-Miss Places where Platinum-Plated Metals Can Be Found

If you say the words “platinum plated metal” to many people, most of them will think first of jewelry. That makes sense, because platinum is so commonly used to add a bright and corrosion-resistant surface to rings, pins, watches, and other items of jewelry.

But platinum is electroplated onto other metals for many reasons too – and unless you know what they are, you could fail to recognize some of the platinum-plated items that you could recycle profitably using a qualified platinum smelter and refiner like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

Let’s take a look at some sources of platinum-plated scrap that you could be missing . . .

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this can be an excellent source of platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this can be an excellent source of platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold

Aerospace and Aeronautics

There could be big dollars hiding in aerospace scrap. You’ll find recyclable platinum in thermocouples, contacts, gauges, and many other places.

Electrodes

Platinum-plated electrodes are used in the manufacturing of fertilizers, chemicals, explosives and more products than you might expect.

Electrical Utilities and Industries

Platinum-plated contacts and cables are widely used in industries that manufacture electrical components – and in electrical generators too.

Purification Systems for Liquids of Many Kinds

Platinum-coated surfaces are found in devices that use electricity to purify water, oil, industrial chemicals, and other liquids.

Photo of catalytic converter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium which can be recycled and refined for best prices at Specialty Metals.

Photo of catalytic converter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium which can be recycled and refined for best prices at Specialty Metals.

Catalytic Converters

Platinum-plated components are commonly found in catalytic converters that are used to treat the emissions from automobile, truck, and industrial engines. If you’re wondering how to refine platinum from catalytic converters, call us.

Medical Devices

Most people know that platinum plating is used in coronary testing catheters, implantable defibrillators, and pacemakers. Fewer people know that platinum can also be found in cables and contacts that run between pieces of medical equipment, or even within large medical devices.

Shown: scrap platinum sputtering targets can be a surprisingly lucrative source of platinum.

Shown: scrap platinum sputtering targets can be a surprisingly lucrative source of platinum.

Electroplating Operations

It is kind of ironic – but true – that platinum coating is often applied to anodes that are used to electroplate other metals. Used sputtering targets are another potentially lucrative source of platinum.

Want to Know More?

If you have a quantity of platinum-bearing scrap or old metal parts from one of the industries or applications described in today’s post, call us today at 800-426-2344. We’ll be happy to lead you to quantities of valuable platinum that could be hiding right under your nose.

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How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
What Precious Metals are Inside Catalytic Converters and What Are They Worth?
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Recycling Opportunity: More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before

Platinum, Miracle Metal, Finds New Medical Applications

With every year that passes, platinum is finding more and more medical applications. Let’s explore them in today’s post.

Interventional Devices

Because platinum is biocompatible – not rejected by the human body – it is a metal of choice for cardiac and other stents that are left permanently in the body. It is also widely used in implantable defibrillators, pacemakers, and neuromonitoring devices used to control Parkinson’s and other disorders. As America’s population ages, the demand for those devices is increasing.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be recycled profitably for your organization by Specialty Metals.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be recycled profitably for your organization by Specialty Metals.

Orthopedic Devices

Because of its biocompatibility and ability to be formed into a variety of shapes that range from plates to wires to large components, platinum and platinum alloys are metals of choice for implantable devices that include hip and knee implants, plates and screws that are used to stabilize broken bones, and devices that are used to stabilize or support the spine.

Surgical and Testing Applications

Platinum is an excellent conductor of electricity too, making it a first choice for equipment that is used to test cardiac functions. Platinum is also used in wires and catheters that are used to monitor arthroscopic, ophthalmic, and other surgical procedures.

Cancer Medicines

And here’s a surprise. Over the last 50 years, a number of platinum-based medicines have been developed to fight ovarian, testicular and other cancers. One such medicine, Cisplatin, has been in use since 1977. Another cancer drug, Satraplatin, is being evaluated for treatment of prostate cancer. These medications work because platinum inhibits cell division, so cancerous cells can be stopped from reproducing as aggressively.

Demand for Platinum to Remain High

The strong demand for platinum in healthcare applications, coupled with its relative rarity in nature, means that the demand for your recyclable platinum will stay strong. If you would like to know more about using our refining services to unlock the dollar value that is hidden in platinum recyclables, call us at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

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Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
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Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies

The Stampede from Desktops to Laptops to Tablets Leaves Gold Behind

You will get a lot of results if you search for the phrase “Can a tablet replace my laptop?” on Google or Bing. The question has recently been tackled in The New York Times, in PC World, on CNET, and dozens of other places. If you read those articles, you will find that opinions vary. Some reviewers feel that the time is not yet right to discard laptops in favor of tablets. Others write about new laptop/tablet “convertible” hybrids from HP, Samsung, and other makers that are essentially tablets with keyboards that either detach or fold cleverly out of the way.

Image of woman choosing tablet over laptop, which symbolizes the computer shift that will result in more recycling of old laptops for the precious metals they contain.

Computers are always evolving, and similar questions have arisen in the past. Ten years ago, it was “Can a laptop really replace a desktop machine?” And we all know how that question got resolved. So who could believe that laptops are the pinnacle of computer development, never to be replaced by something newer?

When new kinds of computers gain widespread acceptance, older machines get tossed and recycled in large numbers. Just peek at the place where electronics are recycled in your town or city – perhaps in your town dump. On a recent visit to my town’s, I noticed that not only desktops, but also laptops and other types of escrap were starting to pile up. And if you’ve been reading this blog, you already know that laptops contain valuable quantities of gold and other precious metals that can be worth reclaiming from their circuit boards, connectors, IC chips and other parts, using a top precious metals recycler.

Opportunities to Profit from the Trend

Because used laptops contain only a few dollars’ worth of gold and other precious metals, it takes a large number of them to add up to much – plus, there is the challenge of dismantling them to extract the parts that contain gold like circuit boards and contacts, pins and meltables.

Yet the fact remains that a very large number of laptops are about to be discarded in the coming years. If you can start a program to collect them, the dollars could really add up. If you are one of the following organizations, this could be a good time to start collecting laptops for later recycling . . .

  • If you are an electronics retailer, consider ramping up your trade-in program.
  • If you are an electronics manufacturer or wholesaler, provide incentives for retailers to accept trade-ins and return them to you.
  • If you are a church, charity or school, consider conducting a drive to collect laptops that are no longer needed.
  • If you are a hospital or healthcare facility that is about to replace older laptops and equipment that embodies them, start your own in-house recycling program.

Don’t Let Recycling Dollars Slip through Your Fingers

As the old saying goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Since each old laptop contains many pennies’ worth of gold, why toss them away? Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more about profitably recycling computer scrap.

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What Precious Metals Are Contained in Piles of Old Desktop Computers?


Do You Have Undiscovered Precious Metals in Your Organization? 11 Questions to Help You Decide

Are gold, platinum, palladium, silver, and other valuable metals “hiding” in your place of business? Whether you are a factory, a scrap yard, a hospital – or any other kind of organization – here are 11 questions that can help you know.

Image of businessperson searching for undiscovered precious metals that Specialty Metals can help refine profitably.
  1. Do you heat materials up or cool them down?
  2. Do you have older electronic equipment of any kind that you are about to discard?
  3. Do you use equipment that remotely monitors electrical activity?
  4. Do you remove pollutants from the air?
  5. Does your company engage in welding, brazing, or soldering?
  6. Do you apply platings of any kind to surfaces?
  7. Do you currently process photos or x-rays, or have you done so in the past?
  8. Do you have quantities of older metal-plated items of any kind, such as jewelry or silver-plated cutlery?
  9. Do you have a fleet of vehicles that you no longer use?
  10. Do you have quantities of older military surplus electronics, vehicles, armaments, or other gear
  11. Do you have quantities of appliances that you no longer need or are about to replace, such as stoves, air conditioners, water heaters, or furnaces?

Did You Answer Yes to Any of the Questions?

If you did, you should call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 so we can help you recoup the value of the precious metals that you have on hand.

Question by question, here are some reasons why your Yes answers indicate that you could have precious metals . . .

  1. If you heat or cool materials during manufacturing processes, you have equipment that monitors that activity remotely. Those devices use thermocouples, which contain quantities of precious metals.
  2. Older electronic equipment contains printed circuit boards that contain quantities of gold and other precious metals.
  3. Equipment or devices that monitor electronic activity, such as IP catheters, can contain platinum, palladium, and other precious metals.
  4. If your operations remove pollutants from the air, especially after combustion, you could be using catalytic convers that contain precious metals.
  5. Used or unused quantities of welding, brazing, or soldering supplies contain silver and other precious metals.
  6. Any materials or equipment that are used in plating – from old sputtering targets to the sludge that accumulates at the bottom of plating tanks – contain quantities of gold, silver and other precious metals.
  7. New and used photographic films, papers, developing fluids and other supplies contain silver.
  8. Old jewelry and silver-plated items can contain valuable quantities of gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals.
  9. Older vehicles contain gold in printed circuit boards, palladium in catalytic converters, and other precious metals that you can recycle.
  10. Military surplus items of many kinds – especially electronic devices – contain printed circuit boards and other components that can contain gold and other precious metals.
  11. Appliances of many kinds contain thermocouple wires that contain platinum and other precious metals.

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How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

Six Traits of the Best Platinum Refiners

Platinum is needed for the manufacturing of so many items today – thermocouples, platinum jewelry, and catalytic converters, to name a handful. But at the same time, it is one of the rarest precious metals. That combination of high demand and rarity in nature means that there is a strong market for your old platinum items.

Photo of molten precious metal like platinum, silver and gold being smelted and refined - Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.

Yet how can you select the best platinum refiner to recycle them? Here are some traits to look for:

  1. Responsiveness – When you call a platinum refiner, you will have questions. How many catalytic converters will the refiner process at a time, for example? How can you tell how much platinum is present in the used medical EP catheters that you have on hand? A knowledgeable expert should patiently answer your questions. If the person who comes to the phone or calls you back doesn’t listen well or doesn’t think your questions are worth his or her time, you should find another refinery.
  2. Clarity – What exactly should you do with your platinum-bearing items? Should you send in a sample for testing? If so, how? If you have 500 or more catalytic converters that you would like to recycle, how can you ship them, and how much will that transport cost? An experienced precious metals refinery will be able to clearly explain procedures and “next steps.”
  3. A timeline – If you’re sending in a sample for testing, the platinum refinery should tell you when you will receive the results of that analysis. If you are sending in items to be recycled like used platinum thermocouple wire, how long will the processing take, and when will you be paid? The details shouldn’t be unclear or iffy. After all, you are dealing with quantities of precious metals that can have significant value.
  4. Experience – You want to use a refinery that has extensive experience processing the kind of items that you want to recycle. If you have catalytic converters, for instance, ask the representative how many catalytic converters his or her refinery processes every year. Also ask if you can obtain references from current customers.
  5. Professional memberships and accreditations – For example, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and listed with Dun & Bradstreet and the Jewelers Board of Trade. We are also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC). 
  6. Environmental responsibility – Processing precious metals requires extreme care. Strong chemicals are sometimes used, noxious gases are sometimes released, and residues of chemicals that are left after processing must be disposed of properly. All processes should be carried out in strict compliance with federal, state, and local environmental laws. Here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, for example, we respect the environment, never cut corners, and do things right. No material sent to us ever winds up in a landfill.

Related Posts:

Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
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Three Trends that Will Keep Demand for Precious Metals High

In a famous moment in the movie “The Graduate,” an annoying man named Mr. McGuire says to a young college graduate named Benjamin, “I just want to say one word to you . . . just one word . . . are you listening . . . plastics.”

McGuire was telling Benjamin to make his career in plastics. Plastics, the material of the future. But McGuire wasn’t entirely right. Although the use of plastics has boomed since that movie was released in 1967, plastics haven’t replaced metal, for several reasons. Metals conduct electricity, and plastics do not. Plastics can be corroded by harsh chemicals, and many metals cannot. Plastics are not hard enough to serve as parts in many machines where metals perform beautifully.

And advanced as plastics may be, they are not about to replace precious metals in the technologies that we’re going to take a look at in today’s post.

Photo of workers replacing old solar panels, which contain more silver, with newer ones. Don’t miss the opportunity to recycle them profitably with Specialty Metals.

Silver Trend: The Boom in Solar Panels

Have you noticed that a boom is happening in the use of solar panels? It seems that wherever you travel, you see new installations on roofs and in open fields. While it is true that thin-film solar are becoming more and more popular than the older thick-film models that used more silver, the demand for silver will remain strong because of the sheer number of thin-film panels that are being installed. See our earlier post, Replacing Your Old Solar Panels? Don’t Throw Away Valuable Silver Too, to learn more.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart.

Platinum Trend: High Demand in Medical Applications

Platinum is finding more and more uses in medicine. It’s being used throughout modern medical devices in hospitals, in implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs), devices that monitor or regulate brain functions, neurovascular devices, stents, and pacemakers. Remember, platinum is rare in nature. According to some estimates only about 16 tons of it have been mined in all of history. That means that demand for the recyclable platinum scrap that you have is sure to remain high.

Palladium Trend: High Demand in Catalytic Converters

Photo of catalytic converter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium which can be recycled and refined for best prices at Specialty Metals.

Palladium is also rare in nature, found almost entirely in Canada, Russia and South Africa. Yet it is widely used in catalytic converters. And as you know, the demand for automobile and industrial catalytic converters is not going to diminish anytime soon. That scarcity, coupled with high demand, means that collecting and recycling catalytic converters will remain a profitable activity – and a viable business – in the years and decades ahead.

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Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
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Are Recyclable Precious Metals Hiding in Your Hospital?

If you’re a hospital administrator, are you overlooking quantities of cadmium, gold, and other precious metals that you could refine for a lot of money?

If you don’t want to let precious metals slip through your fingers, here’s a checklist to keep on hand . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.
  • Old electronic equipment that you are about to discard could contain quantities of gold (in circuit boards), platinum (in thermocouples that measure temperature or electrical activity remotely), in monitors, and elsewhere. Even if you are distributing new tablet computers to your staff, don’t discard old ones; they could contain more gold on their circuit boards than you expect.
  • Used and unused testing supplies like catheters and testing probes could contain valuable quantities of platinum, palladium, cadmium, and other precious metals.
  • Old x-ray and unused x-ray films contain quantities of silver that can be extracted by a qualified precious metals recycler. Older solutions that were used to develop x-ray film can contain recyclable amounts of silver too.
  • Specialty back-up batteries that were installed in older equipment can contain precious metals.
  • Laboratory crucibles, tongs, and other equipment are often made of platinum.
  • Catalytic converters that are installed on gas and diesel-powered back-up generators contain platinum, palladium and rhodium. If you’re replacing those catalytic converters or your entire back-up power system, don’t let those metals slip away.
  • Decommissioned vehicles, like patient transport vans and ambulances, contain precious metals in many places – in their catalytic converters, in onboard computers, and on printed circuit boards.
  • Old photovoltaic solar panels that you are replacing could contain large quantities of silver – do not allow the company that is installing new panels to simply haul your old ones away.

Those are only a few of the places where precious metals can be found in hospitals. If you take the time to review today’s checklist, you could discover that precious metals are “hiding in plain sight” in your facility.

Related Posts:

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Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies


Old Kodak Report Tells You How Much Silver Is in Your Photographic Films and Papers

Do you own a photo processing lab with inventories of new and developed film, photographic paper, and developing chemicals?  

Those supplies contain silver that can be extracted and refined. How much silver? We just discovered a very useful report that can help you know.

A Fascinating Older Report from Kodak

Can you spot the silver in this photo of a photographer processing film and making prints? It’s everywhere: in the paper, the chemicals, and the film, and Specialty Metals can help you recycle it all profitably.

Can you spot the silver in this photo of a photographer processing film and making prints? It’s everywhere: in the paper, the chemicals, and the film, and Specialty Metals can help you recycle it all profitably.

Back in 1998, Kodak published a report entitled “Sources of Silver in Photographic Processing Facilities.” (Click here to download the PDF.) It dates from the time before digital photography became the preferred way of taking pictures, but it still contains useful guidelines about sources of silver in photo labs. It was intended to help high-volume photo labs – labs that were developing thousands of rolls of film a day – determine how much money they could recoup by recycling their materials.

The report still offers some great insights on extracting silver from film and other photographic materials. Here are some highlights . . .

  • Photographic papers and films are the biggest source of silver in photo labs.
  • Used photo-processing chemicals – the solutions that are used to develop film – also contain quantities of silver that can be recycled. It’s because those solutions remove quantities of silver from the films they are processing. That silver remains in the used solutions and can be extracted.
  • The tape that is used to splice photographic films contains silver too. The Kodak report states that this source of silver is “often overlooked.”
  • Different kinds of films contain different quantities of silver. The Kodak report states that 1,000 square feet of Kodak Gold Film contain four troy ounces of silver, for example, while 1,000 square feet of Kodak Royal Gold 400 film (a “faster” film with a higher ISO rating) contain only 1.1 troy ounces of silver. It takes a lot of rolls of 35mm film to make up 1,000 square feet; however, the report contains useful tables that help you calculate how many square feet of film can be found in films of different formats and sizes.

Silver is Used in Digital Processing Too

If you’re in the business of processing photos, think “silver.” Even in this age of digital photography, that metal is an integral part of printing photos. Valuable quantities of electrolytic silver flake could result. Also, recycling your used and unused chemicals and  papers to extract the silver that they contain could be a profitable activity for you.

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Recycling Opportunity - More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before

A revolution is taking place in medical technology, with new equipment and new technologies being introduced weekly. If you’d like to get a quick glimpse of what’s taking place, spend a few minutes scrolling through the entries on MedGadget.com. There, you’ll find announcements of hundreds of new medical products and technologies that are coming to market.

Here’s a sample . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals like platinum, silver and gold that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed
  • Intuitive Surgical just introduced a new version of its Da Vinci surgical machine that will allow a wider range of operations to be performed robotically.
  • Withings has developed a new blood pressure monitoring cuff that sends its readings wirelessly to iPhones and Android devices.
  • Toshiba is launching a compact ultrasound machine that can roll into tighter spaces in hospital rooms.
  • Biotronic makes a new pacemaker that wirelessly sends electrograms to cardiologists.
  • Scientists are developing biodegradable batteries that will dissolve after they have powered devices that are implanted in the body.

And would you believe, all those things were announced on MedGadget.com in just that last 10 days?

Every New Piece of Equipment Makes an Older One Obsolete

The result of all that change is that over time, a lot of older pieces of medical equipment are becoming obsolete. As improved implantable defibrillators come to market, for example, older models get returned to their manufacturers for recycling. As new ultrasound and medical imaging systems come into widespread use, older equipment is no longer needed. Some of it gets put into containers and sent to countries where it is needed. Some of it gets scrapped. And some of it contains valuable quantities of platinum, silver, gold and other precious metals.

Do you work in a hospital, radiology center, or another facility where older equipment is about to become obsolete? If so, that equipment could contain quantities of gold that are worth recycling. Or do you work in a testing center where your stocks of unused cardiac catheters are no longer needed? If so, what will become of the precious metals that they contain? Even the sensor tips of electrophysiology (EP) catheters contain platinum that can be profitably recycled.

If you own older medical equipment or supplies and don’t know about what they are worth, we’re here to help you. Call Specialty Metals at 800-426-2344, tell us what you have, and we’ll be pleased to explain the profit potential for recycling your used laboratory equipment.

Related Posts:

New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies
Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware

 

 

New Applications for Precious Metals Keep Demand and Prices High

Precious metals have been around for a long time. Long before the Common Era (in other words, year zero on our calendar), ancient people were adorning themselves with silver and using gold to fill teeth. Even the more “modern” precious metals – metals like platinum and rhodium – are pretty old. They have been around for 150 years or more.

Photo of solar panel production, which uses sputtering targets that could contain valuable gold, platinum, silver, palladium and rhodium.

Photo of solar panel production, which uses sputtering targets that could contain valuable gold, platinum, silver, palladium and rhodium.

Given the age of precious metals, you’d think that they would be on their way out – that modern materials would have taken their place. You’d imagine that some kind of space-age ceramic would have taken the place of gold in circuit boards, or that a long-chain polymer or some other gee-whiz chemical would have replaced platinum in catalytic converters or in medical-testing devices. But that hasn’t happened. In fact, the precious metals that we refine here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners are finding new uses all the time, and demand remains strong.

Gold Cosmetics

There are reports that ancient people – the rich ones at any rate – applied gold to their skins, both as makeup and as a remedy for various skin problems. That trend has resurfaced in recent years, with a number of companies introducing skin creams and treatments that contain gold. You can read about it in The New York Times.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be profitably recycled by Specialty Metals.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be profitably recycled by Specialty Metals.

Platinum Materials Used in Medical Testing

Patients today are undergoing more electrophysiology (EP) studies than at any time in the past. It is not uncommon for hospitals to perform hundreds or thousands of these procedures every year. The boom has triggered a surge in the manufacturing (and recycling) of platinum EP catheters, catheter tips and other supplies. Even veterinarians are conducting tests with these catheters today.

Platinum Thermocouples

The use of platinum and other noble metal-containing thermocouples is increasing on production lines and in laboratories. Wherever temperature must be measured or monitored, a precious metal is probably involved.

Gold in Cellphones and Other Electronic Devices

As you might have noticed, just about everybody is carrying a smartphone these days. Plus, all those people replace their phones every few years. All those phones contain gold on their circuit boards, so gold is always in demand. Then there are all the other electronic devices that are now part of our lives – laptops, tablets, televisions with remotes, GPS devices, and more.

Silver in Sputtering Targets and other Industrial Applications

You would think that the demand for silver would be dropping. It’s a precious metal that tarnishes easily, after all. But that’s not the case, because silver has a lot of new uses. In some sputtering targets, it is used to create a bond between the substrate and the metal above it – the one that will be used to coat other surfaces. Silver is also important in a many alloys. So the demand for silver remains strong.

Junked cars contain more precious metals than just platinum in catalytic converters, including gold in circuit boards that Specialty Metals can recycle.

Junked cars contain more precious metals than just platinum in catalytic converters, including gold in circuit boards that Specialty Metals can recycle.

Platinum in Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters have created a staggering demand for platinum – a demand that has arisen in only the last 40 years, since the use of catalytic converters became widespread. If you think this demand will go away because of electric cars and other innovations, you could be right. But that is not going to happen for another 40 or 50 years.

High Demand for Precious Metals Keeps Prices High

Those are just a few of the reasons why the precious metals you can recycle are so much in demand, and why prices are so strong. To recycle what you have and received today’s top prices, give Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners a call at 800-426-2344

Related Posts:

A Fast, Fascinating History of Metals like Gold and Silver

Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal

3 Simple Steps: How to Find the Best Gold Refiner

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Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware

Maybe you just bought a building or a company where a testing lab was located. Or maybe you work at a university and need to dispose of labware that is no longer used in your science and engineering programs.

Photo of platinum crucible scrap containing platinum alloy, which Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Before you order a dumpster and toss it all, give us a call. Those old crucibles, tongs and other mismatched stuff might look like they’re made of stainless steel or even aluminum, but chances are that they are made of platinum, which is currently trading at over $1,400.00/troy ounce.

Here are some items that you should be on the lookout for.

  • Crucibles, dishes and lids
  • Evaporation dishes
  • The long testing containers known as “boats”
  • Testing electrodes including Fischer, Winkler, Wölbing and Schöniger electrodes*
  • Ignition dishes, in which materials to be tested are ignited
  • Tubes that connect testing tanks
  • Wire wool, perforated disks, meshes, and filters
  • Tongs, tweezers, and spatulas used to handle materials that are being tested

* The mesh in these electrodes contains platinum

Not Sure What Precious Metals You Have that Can Be Recycled?

It’s easy to overlook the potential value that could be hiding in some of the items described above – who would think that a jumble of dirty old metal mesh contains platinum and rhodium and could be worth hundreds of dollars? If you would like to learn how much your used laboratory gear could be worth, give us a call at 800-426-2344.

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Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies

Are you a hospital or chiropractor who has large quantities of older x-ray films that you no longer need to keep stored? Or are you a radiological lab that has changed over to digital imaging, but which still has a lot of unused x-ray film, fixer solutions, and other supplies that you no longer need? If so, you could have silver that can be profitably extracted, refined and recycled.

Extracting the Silver from Older X-Rays and Films

Used X-ray film sent to Specialty Metals by our customers. It's just one of the types of silver-bearing medical, dental, industrial and graphic arts films scrap we recycle.

Used X-ray film sent to Specialty Metals by our customers. It's just one of the types of silver-bearing medical, dental, industrial and graphic arts films scrap we recycle.

How is silver extracted from older x-rays and films? It’s an interesting story. In years past, recycling companies usually burned them and then extracted silver from the ash – a dirty and time-consuming process. Today the extraction is done more efficiently, by shredding films and treating them with chemicals that extract the silver. There’s another reason why this more modern approach makes sense – since x-ray films are made of chemicals that are coated onto a plastic film, that plastic can also be reclaimed during modern chemical processing. There is not much dollar value in that plastic, but after chemical processing it can be recycled, just as used plastic soda bottles are.

Call Us to Learn More

If you have a quantity of older x-rays or x-ray supplies, it is worth calling us at 800-426-2344 to discuss recycling them. It’s also a responsible thing to do. You’ll get paid for the silver they contain and at the same time, prevent silver from ending up in landfills.  

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Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies

On January 21st, a post on this blog described the value that’s hidden in used and surplus Electrophysiology (EP) catheters that are left over from medical test procedures. As we noted, “Electrophysiology (EP) studies are becoming far more common – tests that monitor the electrical activity within a patient’s heart to determine the cause of arrhythmia and other problems.”

We didn’t mention that veterinarians are now using larger quantities of platinum EP catheters in their practices too, and that those vets can recycle them for more money than they might expect. How much money? As we go to press with this post, platinum is trading for $1,435.00. That figure should serve as a reminder of how foolish it can be to discard EP catheters instead of recycling them with one of America's best platinum refiners.

Image for “Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies like EP Catheters” Specialty Metals blog post

The Boom in Veterinary Testing

If you’re a vet, you already know that many pet owners today want to give their pets the most advanced treatments available. Dogs and cats are being treated for diabetes, blood disorders, cardiac issues, joint diseases, epilepsy, and more illnesses. It seems that people want their pets to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life while they do. And when a pet is entering its final days, some pet owners are even sending their animals to veterinary hospice centers.  

As a result, cardiac and other tests that were once given to human patients only are now being administered to animals in veterinary offices.

If you’re discarding your used testing supplies, you could be discarding money too. If you call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344, our consultants will be happy to help you create a plan to turn your used EP catheters into dollars.

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Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables

If you’re looking at a large number of recyclable items, here’s a suggestion that can put a surprising amount of money into your company’s coffers . . .

Look at the tips of wires and thermocouples and test the precious metals that are hidden there!

If you snip those tips and send them to a qualified precious metals refiner, chances are good that you will get more money from them than you thought possible. There’s a simple reason. Tips contain precious metals because they’re “where the action happens” with testing equipment that monitors heat, chemical activity, or electricity at remote locations. Tips measure things, and the information they gather can be conveyed to remote shutoff valves, monitoring gauges, computer consoles, and other pieces of equipment.

Let’s take a look at where some dollars could be hiding in the kinds of tips that you have on hand.

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.

Used or Surplus Medical Testing Supplies

As we’ve noted before on this blog, the sensor tips of electrophysiology (EP) catheters contain platinum that can be profitably recycled. Used sensors can be recycled and refined, but if you are in the medical testing field, you also know that a number of catheters go unused in tests and end up in the recycling bin. Don’t let them stay there – recycling and refining platinum is worth a lot of money.

Photo showing the kind of gas appliance that uses a thermocouple wire that contains valuable precious metals that can be recycled and refined.

Appliances

Stoves, furnaces, water heaters and air conditioners, contains sensing wires that have tips that could contain quantities of copper, nickel, and even platinum, which is currently trading at nearly $1,400 on the London Fix. So snip those tips and send them to us – you could be in for a very pleasant surprise.

A Variety of Production Line Equipment

If welding, heating, or chemical reactions take place on your production line, chances are that you’re monitoring those operations remotely. And when that monitoring takes place, thermocouple wires of some kind run from your production line to gauges or consoles that are located some distance away. Thermocouple wire tips typically contain quantities of platinum, rhodium, and even gold. So snip those tips and send them to us for testing.

Want to Turn Little Tips into Big Dollars?

Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We're experts at recycling and refining precious metal scrap, and we can let you know just how much profit you can reclaim from your little, easy-to-overlook, very valuable tips. Why not call the right precious metal refiner today?

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Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment

If you have testing equipment that you no longer need, what should you do to recoup the value that still resides in it?

This question comes up often at testing labs, medical testing facilities, hospitals and other settings where equipment can become obsolete, inefficient, or too costly to run when newer testing technologies become available. At that time, most companies don’t simply toss their old lab equipment. They recoup some of its value in one of these ways:

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.
  • They sell their used equipment or trade it in when buying newer equipment. That’s efficient. It also makes good environmental sense if equipment contains chemicals or metals that could cause environmental harm if disposed of improperly.
  • They donate used equipment to hospitals or medical testing centers where it can be kept in use – sometimes in third-world countries. This strategy can provide the donating company with tax advantages. If it’s a strategy you could consider, speak with your company’s accountants and/or tax-preparers.
  • They dismantle the equipment they no longer need, remove components that contain precious metals like platinum and silver or other valuable components, and either recycle or sell them.

The Smartest Strategy: Picking the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

If you’re not sure where precious metals like gold might be found in your used testing equipment, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to discuss what you have on hand. For more than 30 years, we have been paying testing companies large sums of money for recyclable precious metals that were hidden in their testing equipment – in components like thermocouple wire, electrodes, tubing, computer consoles, and even smaller items like platinum alloy bearing laboratory tongs and mesh screens. One call to us could be all that’s needed to keep precious metals – and dollars – from slipping through your fingers.

Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters

If you’re a medical professional, you already know about the remarkable recent advances in cardiac testing. Thanks to new technology and equipment, it’s more possible than ever before to obtain detailed data about the functioning of a patient’s heart – a depth of information that was impossible to obtain only a few years ago.

It’s all due to Electrophysiology (EP) studies that are becoming far more common – tests that monitor the electrical activity within a patient’s heart to determine the cause of arrhythmia and other problems.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart.

Here are some facts about these remarkable new tests, adapted from American Heart Association guidelines:

  • EP studies can help determine whether a patient is a candidate for a pacemaker, an implantable defibrillator, ablation, medication, or surgery.
  • EP studies are not conducted in physician’s offices. They take place in hospitals’ electrophysiology labs or catheterization labs.
  • Most patients require only mild sedation to comfortably undergo EP studies.
  • During EP procedures, physicians insert a thin catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart, and then position the end of the catheter in the heart. The electrode catheter that is used, which usually contains platinum, allows physicians to send electrical signals to the patient’s heart and record the activity there.

The Boom in EP Testing

As you probably know too, patients are undergoing more EP studies than at any time in the past. In fact, a boom is taking place in the number of EP studies that are taking place. It is not uncommon for some hospitals to perform hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of these procedures every year. The result is that patients today are living longer and enjoying a better quality of life.

The boom in testing has also triggered a surge in the manufacturing of platinum EP catheters, catheter tips and other supplies. As a result, platinum is more in demand than it was before. The need for recycled platinum has also increased and the dollar value of used and recycled platinum scrap is rising steadily.

If you work in a hospital or diagnostic facility that performs EP studies, it’s a wise idea to inventory the used EP catheter tips and other supplies that you might have on hand. The demand for platinum is strong, prices are up, and you could be able to recycle and refine this precious metal for more money than was possible in the past.

How to Get Started Recycling Your Platinum EP Catheters

Don’t wonder whether you are throwing away money along with your medical waste – get a check-up from Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. Call 800-426-2344 to hear our prescription for your financial health and well-being.