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Cradle-to-grave ESG recycling studies

Platinum Group Metals

Analysing the environmental impacts of PGM recycling

SFA (Oxford) has evaluated and quantified the environmental footprints of recycled material in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and additional processing required compared to primary mining activities. Our assistance to recyclers to quantify the environmental investment case for PGM recycling is a vital step towards a sustainable and circular economy. The upside to recyclers to benefit from this secondary feed source and a fully integrated environmental strategy could mean enhancing supply security for a circular economy.

Promoting your green recycling credentials

SFA can demonstrate the environmental benefits of recycled PGM materials to highlight the green credentials recycling operations offer within the supply chain. Our extensive history of providing granular analysis along the complex supply chain of recycled materials, and foothold in ESG analysis ensure a comprehensive evaluation. To promote the green credentials of recycling relative to mining, SFA can unpack and analyse your mining and recycling operations data to boost the environmental case for recycling to support green financing options in the following areas:

  • Life-cycle review of autocatalyst recycling to highlight the environmental impacts of collection and recycling of PGMs to prevent the dispersal of critical metals into the environment.

  • High-level comparisons between mining and recycling:

    • Metal contents, metal splits and recovery rates.

    • Material composition and chemical analysis of autocatalysts versus mined ore, concentrate and waste.

    • Tonnage volumes between mined ore, concentrate and crushed recycled catalyst material.

    • Emissions from the recycling of autocatalysts from inside the processing plant.

      • Evaluate concentrations of PGMs in cordierite, metal and silicon carbide catalyst materials relative to mined ore.

      • Analyse processing plant emissions from material transport, mine tailings and smelter emissions (recycling and mining shares) – SO2, ammonia, chlorine, hydrogen chloride gases, residual effluents.

      • Carbon intensity of recycling versus mining: high energy use (per tonne/per ounce mined and recycled) and power sources.

      • Pyrometallurgical processing and energy use – mining versus recycling.

      • Reagent consumption for processing recycled material.

      • Water use and wastewater generation at each processing stage to fully understand the potential impacts of groundwater contamination and toxic effluents.

      • Waste generation (recycling versus mining) with the use of fluxes and base metals to recover metal from PGM scrap and smelter slag.

      • Recycling impacts on plant operating capacities.

      • Comparison of recycling and mining emissions to quantify how many pollutants are saved per ounce from recycling relative to mining, and the recycling net impact on emissions from mining plus recycling.

      • Context and comparisons of the economics of recycling relative to mining.

  • Quantify emissions generated outside the processing plant including spent catalyst transport emissions (percentage of catalysts sourced in-country versus imports) to derive a complete CO2 footprint of the recycled source material.

  • Quantify typical emissions at the refinery after smelting.

Let us analyse your recycling footprint

Contact one of our team for more details.

Henk de Hoop

Chief Executive Officer

Beresford Clarke

Managing Director: Technical & Research

Dr Jenny Watts

Head of Clean Energy & Sustainability

Jamie Underwood

Principal Consultant

Lakshya Gupta

Senior Battery Technologies Analyst

Dr Ralph Grimble

Operations Director

Thomas Chandler

Principal Market Analyst

Alex Biddle

Senior Mining Analyst

Eknoor Arora

Mining Analyst

Carol Lu

Associate Principal Analyst: China

Jeremy Coombes

Independent Consultant

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SFA (Oxford) provides bespoke, independent intelligence on the strategic metal markets, specifically tailored to your needs. To find out more about what we can offer you, please contact us.

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