Friday, October 19, 2007

Sign of the times

The prices for precious metals are so high that parked cars are having their catalytic converters ripped out -- leaving the car in place -- because they contain small amounts of metals like platinum, rhodium and palladium. Apparently, the converters alone are worth several hundred to several thousand dollars in minerals.

Then you've got this dude who thinks that we're passing peak production for most important minerals. Whee.


Hamilton Lovecraft said...

I call BS -- if the catalytic converter on a car costs $2K in materials alone, the automotive manufacturing lobby would overturn laws requiring them in approximately 13 seconds, and if they couldn't, they'd engineer a cheaper solution.

john said...

Well, the quote was "several hundred to several thousand" $$. Presumably, this accounts for the difference between (just guessing) small economy cars and H2 hummers. Larger fuel consumption = more pollution production = more robust converter.

There's also the point that these cars could have been built years ago, before the run-up in mineral prices. Meanwhile, cars built more recently would presumably be finding ways to save on mineral costs.

Jumpin' Joan Flash said...

Unlike oil, minerals continue to exist even in their post-consumer form. So does this mean it will become economically feasible to mine garbage dumps?