At Eco Cat News, we have frequently noted the importance of catalytic converter recyclers in determining the exact quantities of platinum, palladium, and rhodium in any given batch of catalysts. Over the past two decades, new technologies have helped ensure that the industry has become increasingly transparent and honest, with probably the most important aspect being that of assaying. The ability to quickly and accurately analyze a representative sample of the crushed de-canned catalyst has made pricing a much more immediate and fairer transaction.

In the early days of assaying, samples of the fine powder that results from the grinding down of the catalytic converter’s honeycomb core would be sent to an independent laboratory for rigorous testing to be undertaken. Whilst this remains a perfectly viable route for recyclers to go down, more recent technological developments have seen the arrival of the handheld XRF (X-ray fluorescence) device. This is a non-destructive analytical analysis instrument that uses X-ray fluorescence technology to determine each element that is present in a sample by measuring the fluorescent (or secondary) X-ray emitted from a sample when it is excited by a primary X-ray source. By quantifying the elements present in this manner, it offers the recycler a number of advantages over the more traditional methods of catalytic converter testing.

XRF analyzer processHandheld XRF

Analysis using handheld XRF can be done in the field in a matter of seconds, instead of in a laboratory requiring highly skilled analytical professionals, thus significantly cutting the costs of accurate analysis. With the traditional laboratory-based testing techniques taking up to several days to complete, the handheld XRF also speeds up the process.  It also provides real-time compliance testing, including screening of incoming materials and outgoing finished goods, that is required for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Proposition 65, Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), and many other regulations.

There are now on the market a number of XRF devices, of which Olympus Vanta Element-S Analyzer are reckoned to be amongst the best.

 Olympus Vanta Element-C Analyzer

Using proprietary Axon technology, Olympus Vanta Element-C Analyzer employs application-specific software to improve user productivity and deliver a quick return on inveOlympus Vanta Element-VCA Analyzerstment. The technology uses ultra-low-noise electronics that enable high X-ray counts per second for fast, accurate, and repeatable results. Data export is simple via a USB flash drive, Wireless LAN, or Bluetooth and the analyzer is cloud-enabled. Its touch screen display is clear, bright, and readable in any light and the user can customize which features and functions are displayed on the main screen.  It provides real-time compliance testing, including screening of incoming materials and outgoing finished goods, and has many features designed to improve productivity and profitability.

Other features include:

🟢Ergonomic buttons and an industrial-grade, push-button joystick that make it easy to navigate with gloved hands.

🟢Embedded GPS to pair results with precise GPS coordinates for documentation and data mapping.

🟢Streamlined reporting and archiving for exceptional data traceability

Olympus Vanta Element-C Analyzer

See more about Vanta XRF Analyzer

XRF analyzers does require significant expenditure but it offers quick savings against laboratory testing for recyclers that have a regular throughput of scrap catalytic converters.

Speedy, professional results will help you gain trust and enhance relationships with catalyst sellers who are looking for fast, fair and accurate pricing.

Following a short training session that we can provide free of charge, the Handheld XRF devices are simple to operate and certainly should be considered as a worthwhile investment for those committed to a long-term, professional and transparent business.