Note: Please consider that the PGM (Pt, Pd, Rh) content might change from one catalytic to another (with the same serial #) due to its condition affected by mileage, weather conditions, etc. *Assay made with Niton XLT3GOLDD+
IRIDIUM IS BOOMING
Iridium is a chemical element with the symbol Ir and atomic #77, it is a part of the Platinum Group Metals.
Iridium has become the latest precious metal to undergo a spectacular price rally. Ir Prices jumped during 2021 from ~50,000 Euro /Kg to ~180,000 Euro/Kg. Today (April 2024) prices are ~150,000 Euro/Kg. This increase is due to supply shortages as well as expectations it will be used to produce hydrogen to power a greener economy.
A byproduct of platinum and palladium mining, iridium is vital for many industries. In shipping, it enables the chlorination of ballast water to minimize the transfer of invasive marine species, in electronics components, in crucibles able to withstand the heat of crystal-making, auto spare plugs (Iridium’s extremely high melting point is perfectly suited to today’s high-temperature engines), and more.
Iridium serves as a catalyst in electrolysis to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, which is increasingly in demand as a cleaner source of power than fossil fuels. As the hydrogen industry continues to grow dramatically, material sourcing concerns are most acutely focused on Iridium. The metal is used to catalyze the oxygen evolution reaction within polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer cells, one of the two most commercially advanced technologies for producing green hydrogen.
This will put pressure on demand and prices, as Iridium is found in extremely low concentrations in the earth’s crust — at approximately 0.000003 parts per million. It is only extracted as a by-product isolated during platinum and palladium production at an annual tonnage measured in the single digits.
The price of Ir may affect the economic aspects of recycling spare plugs, which has great synergy with auto cat. Recycling.
We will follow this trend and update in one of our future tips.