BASF and Heraeus have agreed to form a joint venture (BASF: 50%; Heraeus: 50%) to recover precious metals from spent automotive catalysts. The new company, named BASF HERAEUS (China) Metal Resource Co., Ltd will be set up in Pinghu, China. The founding of the legal entity is targeted in Q1 2022, following the approval of the relevant authorities. Construction is planned to begin in 2022, with start of operations in 2023.
China has limited natural resources in Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) consisting predominately of platinum, palladium and rhodium and strongly relies on imports. Recycling scrap materials, such as spent automotive catalytic converters, to recover PGMs, enable a circular economy. The precious metals are used to make new products for the automotive, chemical, electronics and green hydrogen industries.
Recycled precious metals are furthermore very environmentally friendly and have as much as a 90% lower CO2 footprint than primary metals from a mine. Ensuring a local supply of recycled precious metals for China is an enabler for a sustainable future.
Through the partnership with Heraeus, we will bring best-in-class pyrometallurgy technology for the recovery of precious metals from spent automotive catalysts in China and help improve resource utilization for high-tech and other companies that use precious metals.
BASF’s leading position in automotive catalysts recycling and our combined expertise in precious metals will provide customers with a world-class circular economy solution to re-use precious metals in China.—Tim Ingle, Vice President, BASF Precious Metals Refining, Chemicals & Battery Recycling
Heraeus Precious Metals is a leading provider of precious metals services and products. The company is one of the world’s largest refiners of platinum group metals (PGMs) and a leading name in industrial precious metals trading. Its precious metals products are used in a wide variety of industries, including the chemical, pharmaceutical, glass, electronics and automotive industries.