Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

June 10, 2007


Three Japanese Companies Team Up for Rare Metal Recycling Technology

Keywords: Manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Mitsubishi Materials Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., and Furuya Metal Co., announced on March 8, 2007 that they have signed a contract to jointly develop a technology to recover platinum group metals (PGMs) from waste catalysts and other scrap. The companies aim to establish a competitive PGM recycling business as early as possible, by applying the PGM recovery technology based on Mitsubishi Materials' copper smelting technology and Furuya Metal's PGM processing technology, while making use of Mitsubishi Corp's expertise in the precious metals trade.

PGMs consist of platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium. Because of their outstanding heat and corrosion resistance, as well as high catalytic and unique magnetic properties, PGMs are in high demand today due to their wide variety of applications, including as catalysts for chemicals and car exhaust fumes, or as materials for glass manufacturing furnaces, electronic components and magnetic recorders. Meanwhile, there are few materials or technologies that can replace these metals.

PGMs are scarce resources--they can be found only in some certain locations such as South Africa, and they are produced in very small quantities. Meanwhile, new demand is expected to grow for use in products, such as fuel cells and computer hard disks. For these reasons, demand for recycled PGMs is also expected to rise sharply.

Posted: 2007/06/10 07:49:37 AM
Japanese version