Key Benefits

  • Fast, accurate payment
  • World-class laboratories
  • ISO-accredited methods
  • End-to-end transparency
  • Robust resources
  • Unparalleled support

Overview: Working with BASF

When you partner with BASF to recycle catalytic converters, you get unparalleled transparency, exceptional value, and personalized support throughout the process.

Watch the video for an overview of everything you can expect, from your first call to the customer support desk to the final payment for your catalytic converter scrap.

Getting Paid

When it comes to getting paid accurately based on the material you send, BASF’s automotive catalyst recycling service is the best in its class.

Our world-renowned assay lab uses ISO 17025/17043 accredited methods in line with international standards for platinum group metal (PGM) determinations. To validate our capabilities with the rest of the global industry, we partner with other laboratories and perform round-robin exercises.

BASF provides payment based on the metal you provide. Because we understand how important it is to your business, we always ensure payments are issued promptly and accurately.

Getting paid0

Sampling & Assaying

BASF accepts automotive catalyst material in many shapes or forms, whether it’s canned, rough crush, or milled. Our sampling process involves continuously stripping out scrap metal, weighing, and refining samples until they are homogenous and representative of the entire lot.

When it’s time to perform an assay, analyses are run in triplicate. With ISO-accredited analytical and statistical methods, advanced recycling equipment, robust resources, and a team of highly trained chemists, you get the most precise results in the industry.

Interactive: How are automotive catalysts recycled at BASF?

An animated journey shows how we process automotive catalyst converters to provide customers with the best value for their metals.

The automotive catalyst recycling process at BASF was developed by PhD chemists and other experts to ensure thorough, accurate results — and payment based on the metals you provide.

Our animated interactive shows an overview of how we process your automotive catalyst materials to create a representative sample, analyze the resulting material, and recycle it for future use.

Click to see the recycling journey for yourself.

01 We Receive Your Autocat Material

Customers may send us automotive catalyst material in different forms: canned, rough crush, or a milled fine powder. We first verify the weight at receipt matches the customer’s specified weight, then address any discrepancies.

Material is processed according to its form at receipt, with the aim of homogenizing it into the proper size for sampling.

02 We Prepare Cans for Crushing

Canned automotive catalytic converters arrive onsite in various shapes. Depending on its state, we may use plasma cutters to cut off extraneous piping or remove metal casings from a larger can.

Our technicians compare, verify, and re-verify weight counts at multiple stages.

03 We Put Cans Through the Impact Crusher

As the name implies, impact crushers crush cans into smaller pieces. Our impact crushers can process 6x more cans compared to shearing, another common decanning process.

If any converter substrate cannot be processed by the impact crusher, we use an air chisel to remove it.

04 We Sort Through the Rough Crush

The resulting rough crush is a mix of ceramic substrate and precious metals. We pass it through an air curtain and magnetic separator to remove excess scrap from the lot.

The golden rule: “What goes in must come out.” We compare the total to the original net weight to ensure no material is lost.

05 We Mill Material to a Uniform Size 

The rough crush is transferred to our milling stations, which have a 20-mesh screen to ensure uniform particle size. This process separates out any extra scrap or unprocessed material, whether it’s particles of insulation, cardboard, or coatings on the automotive cannister.

With a uniform particle size, we reduce variability in the steps to follow.

06 We Blend Material to Make it Homogenous

Blending further homogenizes the lot of 20-mesh material to provide the most representative sample. It passes through one blend cycle, pulling from the main output stream and the initial sampled stream.

A dust collection system captures aerial material to recirculate loose particles back through the silo to protect the lot integrity and prevent contamination.

The final discharged, blended material is poured into supersacks and weighed.

07 We Prepare Samples for Analysis

When it’s time for final assay, the bulk sample moves to our Sample Preparation Area (SPA). Our colleagues prepare the sample for analysis using best-in-practice blending, splitting, and milling techniques.

Now we have material in the form of a milled, blended fine powder that represents the entire lot. This material runs through a series of tests to provide the most accurate assay possible.

08 We Send Samples for Analysis 

Sample analysis methods include thermogravimetric analysis to calculate moisture percentage, XRF analysis to evaluate precious and base metal concentration, and carbon/sulfur analysis to signal possible interferences in results. If ICP analysis is selected for your assay, we use tellurium collection to eliminate as many non-precious metal elements as possible.

BASF’s assay labs are ISO accredited, which gives our customers peace of mind that they are working with a best-in-class partner for their assaying needs.

09 We Smelt and Refine Recycled Metal

After analysis, your material is sent to our pyrometallurgical facility, where the material is processed and eventually turned into high grade metal up to 99.95%.

The metal can then be used to make catalytic converters for future vehicles.

10 We Contribute to a Sustainable Economy 

By working with BASF to recycle your automotive catalyst converters, you contribute to a more sustainable economy.

“Green” metals developed in this process generate 90% less CO2 emissions* and consume significantly less water overall.

11 We’re Ready to Process Your Metals

Our tested, rigorous process involves constantly weighing, analyzing, and verifying results at accredited facilities to ensure the most accurate results. It all comes together to ensure you get paid for the metals you provide.

Speak with a BASF representative to begin the automotive catalyst recycling process.

Contact a Rep
Customer support2

Customer Support

Our customer support team has the comprehensive knowledge you need to navigate all facets of the automotive catalyst recycling process, and we pride ourselves on being available to answer your questions and concerns at any point in the process.

Making Trades

BASF provides access to a pool of on-demand knowledge and market insights from experts in and about PGM market trends and the precious metals industry. We know the market and provide price updates from the Engelhard Industrial Bullion (EIB) pricing to support a fact-based approach to help our customers make informed decisions based on public information.

Making trades

Ready to Get Started?

Contact a BASF rep today, and we'll walk you through the automotive catalyst recycling process from start to finish. Feel free to download our brochure for easy reference.

Contact a BASF Rep

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Contact a BASF Expert

Complete the form to get in touch with one of our automotive catalyst recycling experts. We look forward to your inquiry.

* No information [in this document/on this webpage] is intended to or should be construed as BASF engaging in activities regulated by and/or requiring registration with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or any other federal or state agency. Information is presented for informational purposes only, should not be construed as advice from BASF, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of BASF or its management. All views and opinions are from public sources, are not verified, and BASF neither represents nor warrants that they are accurate, complete, or timely. BASF disclaims any duty to update information and will not be liable for errors or omissions or damages arising from its use. Customers make all decisions on their own, independent of BASF, and it is therefore recommended that they seek the advice of a qualified professional before making such decisions. Further, no information presented can be used or relied upon to make claims about net zero or any greenhouse gas or other emission reductions.