The growth in the supply of PGMs derived from spent autocats is expected to continue to increase this year and for many years to come as the automotive recycling industries achieve greater efficiencies worldwide.
Nevertheless, platinum from spent autocats could rise to an annualized estimate of 920,000 ounces in 2007, while recycled rhodium could total 190,000 ounces.
The supply of salvage autocats is not only sourced from the United States, Europe and Japan, but also now flows from Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand and a growing number of countries in Asia and Latin America.
Kumar says that availability of reclaimed metal from salvage autocats has grown dramatically throughout the past 30 years, since the installation of the first catalytic converters in 1975.
The demand for platinum, palladium and rhodium in the manufacture of autocats has increasingly defined the PGM markets.
For calendar 2006, A-1 estimates that recycling amounts from spent autocats will rise further, with platinum increasing to 890,000 ounces, from an approximate 815,000 ounces in 2005.
Testing results from two independent EPA-accepted laboratories showed less than 1 percent of the platinum emitted is in a potentially allergenic form; this is similar to reported amounts for platinum emissions from autocats and diesel catalysts currently in use worldwide.