Exploring the Technology Behind Converter Analysis: The XRF Benchtop Machine


Catalytic converters contain platinum, palladium, and rhodium, making them valuable commodities to recycle and trade. However, recyclers must first get their converters toll-refined and analyzed using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) benchtop and Inductive Coupled Plasma (ICP) devices.

But we understand that navigating the world of converter analysis can sometimes feel like information overload. That’s why we asked our laboratory manager, Alex Benoit, to give us a tour of the XRF benchtop machine to help you understand how we analyze your material – and how you can capitalize on its true value.

How Does XRF Analyze Catalyst Material?

Once samples are taken from your material, they’re placed in the XRF machine, where an x-ray beam penetrates the sample. This beam excites the atom, and the atom reacts by expelling an electron from its inner shell. Releasing this electron forces the other electrons on higher shells to fall down and fill the gap. When they change  places, the electrons release energy in the form of fluorescence.

The intensity of each energy signal is then measured to determine the precise amount of each element. A higher signal means a higher concentration of metals, whereas a lower signal means a lower concentration.

At PMR, we understand the importance of accurate assay results. For this reason, our laboratory uses both XRF and ICP technologies to maximize accuracy, helping you hedge accordingly – and get paid based on the true value of your converters.

For more information, visit PMR’s Resource Center.

Published: April 15, 2023
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