Recycling a Metal Core Catalytic Converter Vs. Ceramic Core Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters are devices used on engines that control emissions and protect the environment by converting toxic combustion byproducts, into less toxic substances. Catalytic converters can be found on the exhaust systems of vehicles, generators, buses, motorized equipment, airplanes, among many other things. When these machines have seen their better days and are ready to be retired, the catalytic converters can be stripped and brought to a scrap metal recycling center like Direct Metals Recycling in Atlanta, GA to be sorted, cleaned and recycled back into new catalytic converters. There are two different types of catalytic converters: metal core and ceramic core. Both can be recycled, though the process is slightly different for each.

Metal Core Catalytic Converter

Metallic core catalytic converters are manufactured in small quantities because it is more cost efficient. Their cores contain small amounts of Palladium and Rhodium. These are the metals that are sought after when the cores are recycled. The recycling process for metal core catalytic converters involves melting down the cores and separating the metals into a mixture of the precious metals and the remainder of the core – called “slag”. This is done over and over with many converters until there an amount between 4-10% of precious metals have been gathered. They are then ready to be recycled back into new converter cores.

Ceramic Core Catalytic Converter


Most automotive catalytic converters have ceramic cores. The ceramic honeycomb core is covered with a coat of metal containing platinum group metals, then the core is encased in stainless steel. The converter cores are separated from their steel housing, then sent to special processing centers that are able to separate the precious metals and save them for recycling back into new converters.

Recycling your used catalytic converter not only puts cash in your pocket, but saves the earth from further pollution and metal mining. If we are able to recycle the metals that have already been mined, it prevents the industry from having to strip the earth of new metals for new products. To make recycling easy for you, we have four locations in Georgia and one in Tennessee including Atlanta, Norcross, Macon, and Augusta Рbring us your catalytic converter today!

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  1. […] is due to the varying size and metal components in each catalytic converter. Whether you have a ceramic core or metal core converter will also affect the offered price to recycle your catalytic converter. A typical median price for […]