How Platinum is mined from old waste

How Platinum is mined from old waste

Today, Platinum is one of the most demanded metals in terms of investments and long-term investments . Its cost is constantly growing , and increasing consumption volumes make the metal rise in price , regardless of the volume of production or other factors. Modern industry has been in a stage for quite a long time at which the consumption of this natural resource exceeds its production.

The systematic increase in demand and the limited number of reserves of this precious metal attract a lot of attention to Platinum, both from investors and from manufacturers who want to make money on Platinum by mining it from various kinds of raw waste or used parts .

Where is the platinum hiding?

The extraction of Platinum from the bowels of the earth is a very laborious and expensive process that requires high-tech equipment and large financial investments.

Like any other precious metal, Platinum is mined in three stages, these are: Extraction of ore, its enrichment and obtaining pure metal.

This process is very laborious and requires not only direct access to the deposit, but also a sufficient amount of time for processing and remelting.

In this regard, some organizations have switched to mining platinum from waste and old radio components , in which Platinum was previously used as one of the structural elements.

The most common «waste» with a high content of platinum are automotive catalysts , spark plugs for internal combustion engines and certain types of parts found in modern radio electronics .

Extraction of platinum from waste on a plant scale.

Due to the increased cost of Platinum (today it is about 1,900 RUB / gram), the profitability of its extraction from old parts has increased to a very attractive size. Today in the Urals there are several fairly large plants, with the help of which platinum is actively extracted from old autocatalysts and radio components.

In 2016, a plant was opened in Pyshma, the main task of which is the smelting of platinum from recycled materials. More than a billion rubles were spent on its construction, which are very productively returned to the budget with each new jump in prices for Platinum.

The plasma furnace, mastered by the plant, is capable of smelting up to 1000 kg of precious metal from old catalysts, radio scrap or dumps of mining enterprises

The process of extracting platinum from autocatalysts

The process of extracting platinum from autocatalysts includes several stages. Initially, the catalyst itself (a kind of filter) is extracted from the element of the automobile exhaust system, which contains platinum, rhodium and palladium. Next, the filter is crushed using a special crushing machine to a powder state and sent for remelting.

The technology of extracting platinum at the plant is under the strictest secrecy. However, based on open data, it can be assumed that it is mined by oxidative roasting with oxygen, chlorination, fluorination.

At home, you can extract platinum from the autocatalyst using a solution of aqua regia. More details can be found in our other works.

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