‘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…’
BASF has established a 50:50 joint venture with Germany-based Heraeus, to develop a facility for the recovery of precious metals from spent automotive catalysts. The new company; BASF HERAEUS (China) Metal Resource Ltd, will be set up in Pinghu China, with the company set to be approved by the relevant authorities during the first quarter of 2022. Construction of the process facility is due to begin the same year, with start-up scheduled for 2023. The new facility will lead to the creation of 100 jobs. The partners have said that the joint venture will enable a circular economy solution, through recycling of spent catalysts, for high-tech industries in China that use precious metals.
Heraeus, which is headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is an international family owned company, tracing its roots back to 1660 when it started as a pharmacy. Today, the group includes businesses across several sectors including environment, electronics, health and industrial applications.
Vice President Business Line Chemicals at Heraeus Precious Metals, Marius Vigener, said; ‘This JV builds on our already strong presence in China within the wet-chemical recycling industry.’
Tim Ingle, Vice President, BASF Precious Metals Refining, Chemicals & Battery Recycling added: ‘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 utilisation for high-tech and other companies that use precious metals.’
China has limited natural resources in Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) and relies heavily on imports. The metals are used to make products for the automotive, chemical, electronics and green hydrogen industries. The partners add that recycled precious metals can have up to 90% lower carbon dioxide footprint than mined metals.