Conceptual design analysis of a collection and processing system for scrapped catalytic converters

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Virginia Tech


The systems engineering process has been applied to develop and evaluate a system that collects and processes scrapped catalytic converters to recover the platinum group metals retained by the converters' spent catalyst substrate.

A needs analysis establishes a catalytic converter manufacturer's desire to reduce the cost of obtaining platinum group metals used to produce new catalytic converters. The analysis proposes a collection and processing system as an alternative to existing suppliers to provide these metals at a lower cost. The analysis applies the engineering process to develop the system's high-level requirements and devises its components, inter-relationships, and operation. This process establishes a system configuration used to evaluate the system's economic feasibility.

The results of this analysis indicate that the collection and processing system is feasible within the constraints of available technology and economic resources.