Once delivered to our plant in Cirié (Turin), cats are weighted and transferred into ad hoc boxes in order to be de-canned. This operation is carried out manually by trained personnel on raised platforms by means of guillotine shears. Further the ceramic monoliths obtained from de-canning are sampled – batch by batch – thanks to an industrial falling stream sampler designed and developed according to the model operated by Techemet in Houston, which ensures that this process be carried out correctly. The goal is to obtain- regardless the quantity of monoliths fed into the sampler- a perfectly representative sample of each batch.
This sample is then milled into an extremely fine powder thanks to a ring mill, and further homogenized and triplicated into three different containers properly identified. After a preliminary assay will be carried out by means of a spectrometer in our laboratory in Ciriè. Such samples are available for: Supplier, Invemet and an independent laboratory in case of umpire.
The ceramic monolith is stocked in big bags identified with bar code to ensure their full traceability (supplier’s name, batch number, gross weight and date of processing).
The big bags are then sent by container to Techemet plant in Pasadena (TX), where the ceramic will undergo a further processing (re-sampling and final ICP assay).
Once the ceramic has been sampled, it is stocked in order to be smelt: thanks to the smelting process an alloy of precious metals is recovered – Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium (Pt, Pd e Rh) – which will be later refined through a chemical procedure.
Techemet operates three submerged arc furnaces, with a combined capacity of 60 million pounds of feed per annum and its smelter has a unique attribute that generates no waste streams, nothing is discarded, everything is recycled.