Rhodium Catalytic Converter Use and South African Social Unrest

Rhodium used within catalytic converters triggers platinum and palladium to reduce some of the most of harmful chemicals – catalyze the oxidation of hydrocarbons. Fighting pollution becomes important with tightening of the pollution laws, the more cars for made, the more rhodium is needed.

Catalytic converters have been an integral component of automobiles for many years to facilitate reduction in the level of hydrocarbons emitted in exhausts. The converters use platinum group metals, platinum (0.08%), palladium (0.04%) and rhodium (0.006%) to catalyze the oxidation of hydrocarbons.

Toyota, Ford and Nissan already use it.
China 1.6B people, is number one car manufacturer.
4oz of palladium for each small car, the cost of those expensive and rare metals rise without stopping.

Social unrest in South Africa continues to fuel strikes, making this deep mining operation heat up not just from the 130 degree heat from the core of the earth. The mines usually focus on other metals while Rhodium appears as a by-product. Miners die from electricity and from overheating, use of chemicals and terrible conditions, are demanding ownership higher and higher percentages of the mines.

Rhodium and palladium they follow the stock market – and stock markets have set new records last and this year, so the perception is that the stock market supports car purchasing power. Air defense and aero space – especially studies the poles of the sun – where the satellite uses rhodium with shield and ceramics. When the satellite is done, it will be destroyed, once again, lessening the overall amount of Rhodium.

Due to strength of Rhodium – it’s also used for some satellite launch rockets, since those are recycled – which means it’s reinforced with rhodium alloy with other metals for re-usable durability.

Rhodium’s strength and very high melting point makes it important for defense missiles with Trump helping the rise of rhodium prices due to increased military budgets.


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