For years, mines have not produced enough precious metal to meet growing demand from the automotive, jewelry, glass and chemical industries. Accordingly, it is very important to recycle these metals.
While this goal is still a long way off for many material flows in our society, Heraeus has long implemented a sustainable precious metals cycle for recycling valuable and scarce precious metals such as platinum. It should also be noted that it takes up to 100 times less energy to extract platinum through recycling, as compared with extracting the same amount through mining.
The „Cradle to Cradle“ concept
In its recycling, Heraeus concentrates primarily on the precious metals in industrial catalysts. The recovery rate for precious metals extracted by recycling these materials can far exceed 90 percent, depending on the material. Experts refer to this as a nearly closed material cycle, which is to say that almost everything that goes into a product in the first place finds its way back into the precious metals or material cycle. Only a small quantity of valuable resources is lost, in keeping with the principle of “Cradle to Cradle.”