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Can You Reuse a Catalytic Converter? 

Many people believe that a catalytic converter cannot be reused. This is a common misconception; there is no law that prohibits the reuse of a catalytic converter. Only a policy is in place. The EPA considers it a policy violation to install or sell a used converter from a salvage yard unless it has been properly tested and labeled 

 

In the USA, the EPA has banned the re-use of used catalytic converters as replacement converters. The only legitimate reason for buying a used catalytic converter is for recycling purposes so the precious metals can be extracted and provided back into the automotive circular economy.  

 

Why Can’t Auto Recyclers Re-Sell Catalytic Converters? 

 

Salvage or automotive recyclers may be held liable for tampering if they sell catalytic converters intended for use in other vehicles without having them properly tested and labeled. Without this process the catalytic converter would not meet the policy’s requirements and would be prohibited from tampering under the Clean Air Act.  

 

With automotive repair shops, installing an untested used converter brought in by a customer would also be a violation, even if the customer insists that the used converter came from his/her other vehicle. 

 

Why The Policy? 

Platinum, palladium, and rhodium are the precious metal found within a catalytic converter. These metals ensure that toxic emissions from the vehicle’s internal workings are catalyzed into less harmful breathable air. The loadings may become insufficient for this task over time due to erosion and damage to the converter, implying that the catalytic converter is indeed a scrap item and cannot be used. In this case, we would purchase the scrap catalytic converter and recycle the remaining precious metals to ensure that the remaining precious metals are returned into the automotive circular economy. 

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