How Much Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium Is in a Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converter in vehicles contains platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These are valuable metals that make them interesting in the eyes of thieves. So, how much are platinum, rhodium, and palladium in a catalytic converter?

Generally, platinum in a car’s standard catalytic converter ranges between 3 and 7 grams. The average amount of rhodium ranges between 3 and 4 grams, while the average palladium amounts to about 2 to 7 grams. These figures may, however, vary based on the vehicle model and manufacturer.

Read on to learn more about the amount of platinum, rhodium, and palladium found in a vehicle’s catalytic converter.

How Much Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium Are in a Catalytic Converter?

how much platinum, rhodium, and palladium is in a catalytic converter

Typically, platinum in a car’s standard catalytic converter ranges between 3 and 7 grams. The average amount of rhodium ranges from 3 to 4 grams, while the average palladium amounts to about 2 to 7 grams. However, these figures depend on the model and automaker.

How Much Platinum Is in a Catalytic Converter?

Average Platinum Content of a Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter usually has 3 to 7 grams of platinum.

PGM Family Are the Densest Known Metals

The densest known metals form part of the Platinum Group Metals (PGM) family. The PGM family consists of six transitional elements that have similar features chemically and structurally. Aside from platinum, these elements include osmium, ruthenium, iridium, rhodium, and palladium.

Ideal as Automotive Emission Control Catalysts

The PGMs are ideal automotive emission control catalysts. They are capable of catalyzing nitrogen oxide to nitrogen. At the same time, they are capable of oxidizing carbon monoxide as well as hydrocarbons.

Capable of Eliminating Hydrocarbon, Carbon Monoxide, Etc. Emissions

The PGMs are commonly used in catalytic converters because they can eliminate hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions from the unburnt fuel.

They are more durable than other metals. No wonder they are the metals of choice for demanding applications.

Suffice it to say that catalytic converters consist of chemicals and metals that neutralize or eliminate hazardous pollutants from the exhaust of cars.

Reduction Catalyst Contains Platinum and Rhodium

A dirty exhaust typically flows through the reduction and oxidation catalyst chambers. The reduction catalyst contains platinum and rhodium, and they are responsible for eliminating the hazardous nitrogen oxide.

The oxidation catalyst contains palladium and platinum, which are responsible for the cleaner exhaust that exits the car’s exhaust pipe.

Platinum is an ideal oxidation catalyst, making it one of the most popular catalysts. As mentioned earlier, rhodium and palladium are typically used in catalytic converters. They are known to be some of our many precious metals.

How Much Rhodium Is in a Catalytic Converter?

Average Rhodium Content of a Catalytic Converter

On average, the rhodium in a standard catalytic converter of a vehicle ranges between 3 and 4 grams. However, this also varies, depending on the make of the vehicle as well as its size. For instance, the amount of rhodium in a large vehicle can be about 8 grams.

Rare and Expensive Transition Metal

Rhodium refers to a rare, costly, and durable transition metal. It boasts a silvery white color, commonly used in high-end products such as jewelry.

Discovery

This precious metal was discovered by English chemist William Hyde Wollaston in 1803 while examining a platinum ore sample. The name “rhodium” was from the Greek word “rhodon,” which means “rose.” It was named as such because of its color.

The rhodium is typically used in catalytic converters to minimize, if not eliminate, emissions. It helps in converting hazardous pollutants into harmless substances.

Rhodium-based Catalytic Converters

Two types of catalytic converters are rhodium-based, namely, the honeycomb and the flow-through. The Flow-through converters let exhaust gas pass through a rhodium chamber.

At the same time, the Honeycomb converters are not as common as the Flow-through. But, interestingly, they are more efficient when it comes to emission reduction.

How Much Palladium Is in a Catalytic Converter?

Average Palladium Content of a Catalytic Converter

A car’s catalytic converter consists of about 2 to 7 grams of palladium. This metal helps in the emission reduction process in cars. It’s a rare and valuable metal that can be worth much money when scrapped.

White Metal Found in the Earth’s Crust

Palladium refers to a white metal typically only found in trace amounts in the crust of the Earth. Interestingly, it is rarer than silver and gold. However, it is not as rare as rhodium and platinum.

Application

But similar to rhodium and platinum, palladium is also used in catalytic converters, dentistry, and electrical contacts. This metal is valuable because of its many uses. It is also used in making watches, jewelry, and other applications that require white metal.

What Are Catalytic Converters?

how much palladium is in a catalytic converter

Refer to Devices That Are Shaped like Mufflers

Catalytic converters refer to devices that are shaped like mufflers. They form part of the exhaust system that eliminates hazardous pollutants from engine emissions.

Coated with Precious Metals Acting as Catalysts

These converters are coated with precious metals, which act as catalysts that convert hazardous pollutants into non-hazardous ones. These catalytic converters convert harmful nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen into nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water.

Increasing Occurrence of Catalytic Converter Thefts in the United States

There has been an increasing occurrence of catalytic converter thefts in the United States over the last few years. Based on a report released by the United States National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), there was an increase of 325% in catalytic converter thefts from 2019 to 2020 alone.

Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any sign that this crime is slowing down. This is because the value of the precious metals in these converters continues to increase.

How Much Precious Metal Is in a Catalytic Converter?

Platinum in a vehicle’s standard catalytic converter ranges between 3 and 7 grams.

The amount of rhodium ranges between 3 and 4 grams on average, while the average palladium amounts to about 2 to 7 grams. These figures may, however, vary based on the car model and manufacturer.

Again, how much platinum, rhodium, and palladium are in a catalytic converter? The amount of metals on a catalytic converter varies depending on the car’s model and size. But, on average, a catalytic converter has 3-7 grams of platinum, 3-4 grams of rhodium, and 2-7 grams of palladium.

How Much Are the Metals in a Catalytic Converter Worth?

At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2022, platinum’s price was $30 per gram. This means that the worth of the platinum in a catalytic converter ranges between $90 and $210.

Let’s briefly discuss the worth of all the precious metals found in a catalytic converter which, again, are the following:

  1. Rhodium
  2. Palladium
  3. Platinum

1. Rhodium

In January 2019, rhodium had a spot price of $2,300 per ounce. By end-December of 2020, the spot price skyrocketed to $14,000 per ounce.

In April 2021, it went up as high as $27,000 per ounce. Just talking about the worth of rhodium already explains why the rate of catalytic converter thefts rose to triple digits, as reported by the NICB.

As of June 2022, the price of rhodium per gram was roughly $440. This means that the value of rhodium found in a car’s catalytic converter ranges between $1,320 and $1,760.

2. Palladium

The price increase involving palladium is not as drastic as the price increase experienced in rhodium. Nonetheless, the price relatively doubled from 2019 to 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since there was a low supply of palladium during this period, its price increased.

As of June 2022, palladium per gram was approximately $60 per gram. This means that the value of palladium in a car’s catalytic converter ranges between $120 and $420.

3. Platinum

The price of platinum per gram was about $30 as of June 2022. This means that the value of platinum in a vehicle’s catalytic converter ranges between $90 and $120.

However, several factors highly depend on the weight of precious metals in a catalytic converter. Some of these include the make of the vehicle and its size.

Suffice it to say that the catalytic converter of a large vehicle most likely contains a higher value of precious metals. A catalytic converter’s estimated value of precious metals can be $1,500 or above.

Frequently Asked Questions – How Many Grams of Precious Metals Are in Each Catalytic Converter?

how much rhodium is in a catalytic converter

Here are some frequently asked questions about the precious metals found in a car’s catalytic converter:

How Much Platinum Can You Get Out of a Catalytic Converter?

A car’s catalytic converter contains about 3 to 7 grams of platinum. However, the exact amount depends on the vehicle’s size and make. Logically speaking, a larger vehicle made by an internationally known automaker contains more platinum.

How Much Rhodium Is Used in a Catalytic Converter?

A vehicle’s catalytic converter contains about 3 to 4 grams of rhodium. But the amount of precious metals in a catalytic converter depends on the vehicle’s size, make, and other factors. There are large vehicles that contain about 8 grams of rhodium. 

What Catalytic Converters Have the Most Rhodium?

The age, the type, and the vehicle’s size determine the rhodium’s exact value in a catalytic converter.

Also, it is worth noting that the catalytic converters of diesel-powered vehicles contain rhodium and platinum only. The catalytic converters of gasoline-powered vehicles include rhodium, platinum, and palladium.

What Are the Three Precious Metals in a Catalytic Converter?

A vehicle’s catalytic converter contains platinum, palladium, and rhodium. These precious metals are valuable and can cost as high as $20,000 per ounce.

Which Catalytic Converters Have the Most Platinum?

The vehicles with the most platinum in their catalytic converters include Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe 63, Dodge Ram 2500, and Ford F250. Based on 2021 data released by the United States car industry, the cost of precious metals in these vehicles ranges between $1,000 and $3,000.

How Much Is a Ford F250 Catalytic Converter worth in Scrap?

In essence, a Ford F250 catalytic converter’s scrap value is lower than its initial value. To give you an idea, the scrap Ford F250 converter’s cost may range between $5 and $10. However, there are cases when it can cost $25 too.

How Do You Remove Platinum from a Catalytic Converter?

Wear heavy-duty goggles and industrial gloves before removing platinum from a catalytic converter. Then, detach the converter from the chassis. Use a socket wrench, a flame cutter, or a chop saw to unscrew the bolts.

The next step is to split open the converter using a flame cutter or a cutting torch. You will then notice the ceramic honeycomb you must gently nudge out of its case. You can pry out the platinum coating using a flathead screwdriver.

How Much Gold Is in a Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter does not contain any gold. Instead, it contains three precious metals: platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

How Much Is a Ford F250 Catalytic Converter Worth?

Ford F250 Super Duty Catalytic Converter replacement will cost $2,764 to $2,795, with a labor cost of around $117 to $148. At the same time, the cost of parts is roughly $2,647.

What Catalytic Converter Has the Most Rhodium?

The amount of rhodium found in a vehicle’s catalytic converter depends on the vehicle’s age and type. The catalytic converters in gasoline-powered vehicles and diesel-powered vehicles both contain rhodium.

Diesel-powered ones contain platinum and rhodium, while gasoline-powered ones contain platinum, rhodium, and palladium.

How Do You Get Rhodium out of a Catalytic Converter?

There are several ways to extract rhodium from a vehicle’s catalytic converter. One of the popular techniques is known as aqua regia. This involves a solution of nitric and hydrochloric acids. While this technique is highly effective, it is also highly dangerous and hazardous if not performed correctly.

What Does Rhodium Look Like?

Rhodium refers to a silver-white metallic element. It is resistant to corrosion and highly reflective. It is known to be the most valuable and rarest precious metal. Its name was from the Greek word rhodon, which means rose, because its salts resemble the color of a rose.

How Much Is a Stolen Catalytic Converter Worth?

The value of a stolen catalytic converter ranges between $100 and $150. The reported stolen catalytic converters reached 3,969 in the United States in 2019. In 2020, there were more than 17,000 stolen units reported. And in 2021, there were more than 52,000 stolen units.

What Car Has the Most Valuable Catalytic Converter?

J.D. Power, in 2020, states that the most costly catalytic converter was that of the Ferrari F430 automobile. The value of its catalytic converter was $3,770.

What Is the Most Expensive Metal on Earth?

The most costly metal on Earth is rhodium. It’s part of the platinum group of metals and is mainly used in making white gold jewelry.

How Many Grams of Palladium Is in a Car?

The amount of palladium in a car depends on the model, size, and age. However, it ranges between 2 and 7 grams on average.

What Is the Most Stolen Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converters from the following brands usually end up stolen:

  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Accord
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks
  • Ford Econoline vans
  • Ford F Series pickup trucks
  • Jeep Patriots

What Does Palladium Look Like?

The appearance of the palladium is shiny white. It forms part of the platinum group metal family, along with iridium, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium.

Is Palladium Worth More than Gold?

The spot price of gold is $1,758 per ounce. In contrast, palladium’s spot price is higher at $2,556 per ounce.

How Do Thieves Make Money from Catalytic Converters?

Thieves steal catalytic converters by sliding under vehicles and slicing through the exhaust systems. Typically, they use a battery-powered saw to finish the task in roughly a minute. Thieves then sell these catalytic converters to scrap metal yards. The cost generally ranges between $150 and $300.

Which Cars Are Hardest to Steal Catalytic Converters From?

The car brands that are less likely to attract catalytic converter thieves are:

  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Jeep
  • Chevy
  • Ford
  • Subaru
  • Mazda
  • Hyundai
  • Nissan

They have less costly catalytic converters because they limit the number of precious metals in them by adapting cat designs.

In Closing: How Much Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium Is in a Catalytic Converter?

The platinum in a car’s standard catalytic converter ranges between 3 and 7 grams. The average amount of palladium is 2 to 7 grams, while rhodium ranges from 3 to 4 grams. However, these figures may differ due to the vehicle model, size, age, and other factors.

Since the value of these precious metals keeps increasing, thieves have become increasingly interested in stealing catalytic converters. That’s why some automakers have started to find ways to limit the amount of precious metals in their vehicles.