Efficient and accurate measurements of Pt, Pd, and Rh for recycling catalytic converters with SciAps handheld XRF

The platinum group metals (Pt, Pd, and Rh) found in catalytic converters are a growing market for recycling facilities. Accurate identification is essential, and these highly sought-after metals are even more valuable when the time it takes to analyze them is completed in seconds.


Handheld XRF allows for efficient and accurate measurements of Pt, Pd, and Rh for price calculation. Specifically, SciAps X-50+ handheld XRF is a unique, lower-priced premium performing model that is an excellent tool for quick measurements of PGM.

The X-50+ features an X-ray tube that can run up to 50kV. It performs well and is a perfect fit for PGM analysis. In a recent test, a series of 13 catalytic converter samples were prepared and analyzed by the X-50, using a dedicated Car Cats calibration. The X-50 performed quite well compared to the lab, with R2 values for all three elements greater than 0.99. Review the results here.

In addition to the PGM elements measured, the X-50 measures several other critical elements that are indicative of the honeycomb matrix and washcoat, allowing for a more complete analysis and improved accuracy overall. The X-50+ also analyzes other heavy elements that are often found in these samples, such as Ba, Ce and La. These elements can play an important role in matrix effects of the XRF analysis, so measuring and accounting for them can be critical to achieving accurate results for the precious metals.


SciAps XRF provides cost-effective solutions that make recycling these valuable metals more profitable.

X-50+

designed for car cats

X-550 & X-505

now available—ultimate scrap performance

SciAps X-550

X-50

great basic analysis

If car catalyst analysis is your primary application, the X-50+ is the best choice. Designed specifically for the car catalysts industry, its high-power 50 kV X-ray tube delivers accurate and precise results, including some impressive LODs on the PGMs. The high-voltage tube also allows for the measurement of other key elements found in car cats, like rare earth elements Ce and La. Measuring these elements not only gives you a more complete understanding of what you have in your catalysts, but also helps improve the accuracy of the PGMs by better accounting for matrix effects. The X-50+ can also be used for general alloy testing, but is best for non-aluminum based scrap sorting.
Max tube voltage: 50 kV
Detector type: Si-Pin

X-50+
Limits of Detection
Pt 21 ppm
Rh 3 ppm
Pd 4 ppm

If your operation not only tests car catalysts but also handles a lot of scrap metal, the X-550 and X-505 models are the complete package for recyclers. These two models are the latest additions to the SciAps family of XRF. They are the lightest and fastest scrap analyzers ever made, and perform astonishingly well on car catalysts and everything else. X-550 and X-505 are equivalent when it comes to car catalyst performance and both provide great alloy, but the X-550 is 2-3x faster than the X-505 when it comes to analyzing challenging aluminum based alloys and light elements Mg, Si, Al, P and S.
Max tube voltage: 50 kV
Detector type: Large area silicon drift detector

X-550/X-505
Limits of Detection
Pt 16 ppm
Rh 3 ppm
Pd 5 ppm

The X-50 gives great car cat performance, at an even better price. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of precision but still need to get the job done, the X-50 is a great choice for you.
Max tube voltage: 40 kV
Detector type: Si-Pin

X-50
Limits of Detection
Pt 48 ppm
Rh 25 ppm
Pd 34 ppm

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This page was updated on October 30th, 2020