by Alex Root
Green Platinum Technology revolutionizes the recovery of platinum from recycled automotive scrap.
About this project
Our project goal is to design and construct a facility that recycles PLATINUM from automotive CATALYTIC converters. We are taking the lead in environmentally responsible Platinum recycling. That is why we have named our company and project GREEN PLATINUM TECHNOLOGY.
Green Platinum is a company with an important mission: To recycle and recover PLATINUM from scrap automobile parts (aka CATS) in an environmentally friendly way. We will design and put-together a recycling plant that will be a revolution in the platinum recycling industry. Our plan is to move into an existing warehouse with our equipment. Once we have a location and lease we will be producing PLATINUM within 4 months.
The chemist behind Green Platinum Technology is Mario Walas. In 2005 Mario set out to unlock the secret behind recycling and reclaiming the precious metals bonded into automotive catalytic converters. Mario formed a team with two of the foremost chemists from the USA and Russia. Over many months of trial and error, hundreds of thousands of dollars and many gallons of vodka, the secret to recovering platinum, rhodium and palladium was discovered. Whether it was on purpose or by accident the formula to chemically recycling automotive catalytic converters was unlocked and best of all it was a totally environmentally friendly process.
For the last 10 years Mario has been successfully using and maturing his formulas and equipment for processing catalytic converters. Johnson Matthey Precious Metal Refiners have assets our products as the highest quality they have ever received.
With this Kickstarter campaign we are planning to scale up Green Platinum Technology to process at least 34,000 pieces or 90 Tons of raw material per month.
Below is a diagram of the whole exhaust system of a typical car including a catalytic converter.
The catalytic converter cleans the exhaust from your car’s engine. Here is how it works. The exhaust is filtered through a honeycomb of ceramic.
Inside the honeycomb is a very thin coating of platinum.
This thin coating of platinum interacts with the exhaust and modifies the harmful gases to transform them into gases that are friendlier to the environment.
We recover these metal powders by chemically recycling automotive catalytic converters. We recover the metal powders of the platinum group. Mostly platinum and palladium and rhodium. Our project is to build a factory that recycles and recovers these metal powders from the automotive waste stream. The recovered powder mesh size is approximately that of typical bread flour.
This platinum powder can me melted to form platinum metal 99.9% pure. This can be made into any jewelry or any number of items platinum is used for.
Jewelers and jewelry hobbyists LOVE our product. We know that you will too! Especially if you like platinum jewelry of any type. We hope you will enjoy one of the rewards we are offering and we look forward to hearing back from you on how you used your powdered platinum.
First we buy thousands of scrap catalytic converters.
Then the converter is opened (de-canned) with a machine with a huge blade like a guillotine or a giant scissors.
Then the material inside is removed and collected for processing. This inside material comes out as chunks or honeycomb pieces and eventually becomes powder. This powder is mostly made of a ceramic but includes a small amount of PLATINUM.
Then we take a load of 750 kilos of this powder. It is put into a large vat 12 feet tall and large quantities of strong acids are added to dissolve the ceramic and precious metals. After one month of processing, adding more chemicals, and many transfers to smaller and smaller vats, the final product is pure PLATINUM powder.
Normally this industrial recycling process can only be done in one way which is with large scale fire smelter technology. The smelter process produces tons of carbon dioxide or green house gas as a byproduct.
With our GREEN technology (a chemical process that eliminates 100% of the typical smelter exhaust) we will make a small step in eliminating the huge pollution problems that come from the smelter recycling automotive catalysts.
With our unique and proprietary system we extract PGMs (Platinum Group Metals) from automotive catalytic converters in a way that totally surpasses and bypasses the age old fire (pyro-metallurgy) smelting methods. These old systems are time consuming and produce huge amount of pollution from the burned residuals from the ceramic automotive catalysts.
Our waste and by-products from the whole process include scrap iron metal which we resell and non-toxic sludge. With our own waste water treatment plant we turn the toxic byproducts into neutral PH clean water.
World wide over 60 million automobiles are recycled every year. 20 million in the US alone. Our goal is to process 500,000 catalytic converters a year. In the near future we will increase the capacity to process 2,500,000 catalytic converters per year.
We’re recreating the way the world recycles the most widely used and most important industrial precious metal – PLATINUM.
Although our process was technically difficult to discover, our requirements moving forward for facility space and equipment are relatively easy to assemble, organize and accomplish. We compare our recycling set-up to more of an industrial dry-clean factory than a typical chemical refinery. In other words our requirements are “plug and play”.
Timeline to complete the physical set-up from start to begin production is 3 months. This includes the purchase and 30 days to ship the equipment.
Our Kickstarter fund raising success will determine if we will need to borrow additional funds for completion. Our stretch goal is the total we need to go all the way without any additional financing $7,000,000.
Alex Root – CEO
Mario Walas – COO
Green Platinum Technology International
Chemical Recycling Specialists
Cost effective recycling of Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium, otherwise know as PGMs (Platinum Group Metals), from automotive catalysts.
Getting the highest percentage of recovery from catalytic converters. Recycling these important automotive exhaust purifiers in an environmentally friendly way that recovers these PGMs that are an integral part of our world wide effort minimize the carbon foot print of the automobile industry and the precious metal recycling industry.
A proprietary Industrial Process (IP) that reduces typical time (from months to weeks) and costs associated with commercial recycling of Platinum and PGMs from automotive catalysts. A process that eliminates the burning of the ceramic portion of the catalytic converters and reduces to zero green house gas emissions as part of the recycling process.
We estimate World Wide more than 60 Million Automotive Catalytic Converters are scraped every year with a recycled PGM value of over 9.5 Billion USD. Our target is to recycle 20% of this market over the next 5 years.
Smelter technology is capital intensive, uses large amounts of energy and releases large amounts of polluting green-house gases into the environment.
A proprietary recycling process and 15 years in the business of chemically recycling automotive catalysts with 10 years of successful operation and chemical refining on industrial scale. Our process is clean with zero greenhouse gas emissions and more efficient in recovering and recycling the maximum amount of PGMs.
Start-up financing of $3,000,000. This plan’s financials uses Kickstarter financing. An additional Letter Of Credit (LOC )of $4,000,000 for the purchase of raw material (RM) will be needed for 4 months.
Problem Worth Solving
How to recycle PGMs from automotive catalytic converters in commercial quantities safely, efficiently, effectively, quickly and in a way that dramatically reduces greenhouse gas and protects the environment. Our Solution Since 2005 using our proprietary chemical smelting industrial process (IP), we have proven from our own laboratories and in our commercial industrial reactors how we produce higher recovery percentages of PGMs.
Our commercial process also dramatically shortens the time taken to go from purchase of raw material until the final product of powdered PGM. The typical fire smelter process requires 120 days with shipping material between many different locations. Our process takes a maximum of 21 days from receiving Raw Material to final product shipped to buyer.
We estimate, world wide, 60 million automobile catalytic converters are scraped every year. 20 Million of these are from USA. We make this estimate based on the fact that In 2012 over 60 million passenger cars were produced. Cars make up approximately 75% of the total motor vehicle annual production in the world. The remaining 25%, is made up by heavy trucks. More than half of the cars are produced in Asia and Oceania, whereas Europe produces almost a third. These numbers are significant because it shows that there is a lot of raw material available to process. The ratio of cars to trucks gives an idea of the ratio of high quality RM vs lower quality RM.
Competition Current Alternatives
Because of our proprietary process we have no direct competition that will be able to match our ability to 1) process raw material quickly and 2) recover the maximum amount of PGM from the raw material processed. The industry’s commercial recycling of automotive catalytic converters is currently dominated by traditional large scale smelters which use heat to melt metal and burn extraneous contaminants mixed with the raw material. These operations are expensive and inefficient i.e. their recovery percentages are low. They are also very slow, so raw material capital is tied up for many months. After the smelter recovery process the metal must still additionally be chemically purified an additional expense and time. The smelter process requires large capital equipment expense, uses huge amounts of energy and produces huge amounts of green houses gases and carbon footprint.
Until now commercial chemical recycling technology has not been able to solve the issues posed by large volume chemical processing of automotive catalytic converters. Our proprietary technology has shortened and simplified the process to make it cheaper and faster.
SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
(S) Unique IP, Massive leverage and experience in the business.
(W) Age of Owners and Operators.
(O) Huge ability to capture market share and make profit based on experience leverage and efficiently of our unique IP.
(T) Commodity Market Price Fluctuation
Marketing & Sales
Raw Material (scraped catalytic converters) are collected by third party companies in USA and Europe and sold to the most reliable buyer. Because we buy larger quantities and because we are able to process quickly and efficiently we can afford to pay a premium for only the best RM which increases our yield from each batch. Additionally we are buying more often which makes us a premium customer that gets the premium product. Initially in year 1 we will process less than 2% of the annual world wide automotive catalyst market. The recovered 99.9% pure powdered PGM, Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium collected, is packed and then shipped from our factory by Federal Express or UPS pick up direct to our buyers. As a precious metal commodity we have many buyers world wide for all of our product. Currently our main buyer is Johnson Matthey in New Jersey. In Singapore we have Metalor.
Johnson Matthey receives our product via FedEx and immediately puts the weight received on our metals account same as if they had received a bullion metal. When we are ready to sell, based on the current market price of Platinum we put in a sell order and metal is traded for cash which is then deposited to our dollars bank account.
Operations Locations & Facilities
From 2010 to 2014 we were located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The partnership laws in UAE and the ability to protect our IP (Industrial Process) in the UAE has sent us looking for a new home under a new partnership. Our new location is planed for USA. We will start in a 60,000 sq. ft. facility. Initial process capacity is for 90 tons and 36,000 automotive catalytic converters per month of operation. This amounts to less than 2% or the world wide annual RM or scraped catalytic converters. Plant size and capacity can be scaled, as soon as practical and cash flow allow, in year 1 . We plan to double our processing capacity year by year with cash flow from operations. Our final capacity goal of our first facility is 180,000 individual cats or converters per month or 450 Tons of catalyst converter inserts per month.
In the simplest terms our process flow operates similar to a commercial laundry. The set-up includes a series of increasingly smaller reactors vessels, connected with hoses and pipes to transfer liquids from machine to machine. Reactor vessels are operated by compressed air. Beginning step of the process are multiple reactor vessels or machines that are 12′ feet tall and hold 750 kilos of raw material inserts or powder. We use large quantities of industrial acids and chemicals which are technically complex to handle and that require employee training, government approvals and overview from EPA and OHSAS. All which we have had approval for our operation by the UAE government. All residuals from the processing are non-toxic and neutral PH. We use standard waste water treatment on site. Our Dubai, UAE facility operated under the authority UAE EPDA and had authority to purchase and consume the necessary controlled industrial chemicals by the Abu Dhabi authorities.
In all operations and systems we use ISO as our guide and will meet or exceed all ISO standards including: QMS, 9001:2008 (Quality Management System) EMS 14001:2007 (Environmental Management System) and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Management System) IMS 18001 (Information Management System) ISMS ISO 27001:2004 (Information Security Management System)
Equipment & Tools
In the appendix there is a purchase list of the required start-up equipment needed for a 90 ton operation. This is the same facility design that we have in operation in UAE for four years.
Our process uses “off-the-shelf” common industry equipment and chemicals. We do require a waste water treatment plant which we install and run ourselves. Residuals are neutral PH and non-toxic.
The main de-canning machine is a like a giant pair of scissors. These are custom built for our operation to our specification. Two people working on these machines can, in one month, finish de-canning 40,000 cats. Other essential tasks at this stage are documenting, categorizing, sorting, moving, loading cats. The inserts or Raw Material that is removed is a ceramic powder and ceramic chunks from the original one piece honeycomb structured inside piece. These pieces or powder, 750 kilos at a time, is transferred to a 12′ tall reactor vessel. Chemicals are added and then the reactors are started stirring, run by pneumatic power until the process is complete. Some running time processes take up to 3 days. While the reactors are running in a critical phase (usually right after chemicals are added) they are monitored by a supervisor. After the reaction is complete the contents are transferred to a new reactor for a new process to begin. The original reactor is cleaned and reloaded and started again. Start to finish the process takes 14 days and at each step we are reducing the amount of material to smaller and smaller reactors until the final process is several small ovens that dry the platinum powder. Then it is weighed analyzed and packaged for shipment via Fed Ex.
To get raw material (RM) to process, we ship 40 ft. container with approximately 4000 whole catalytic converters from origination port to destination port. Transport costs per piece average less than $1.00.
We sell directly to Metalor in Singapore and Johnson Matthey in New Jersey.
Final production shipping costs per cat = $0.70 per piece.
Average cost of each scrap catalytic converter = $100. Number of cats processed = planned 34,615 per month. Highest PGM recovery levels are ensured by purchasing the highest quality RM.
Market price of platinum.
Current March 2016 price of platinum is approaching $1000 USD/oz. The purchase of high quality raw material, even thou more expensive RM produces a higher quantity of finished product.
Green Platinum Technology International will be structured as a USA Corporation. There are two Founders. Alex Charles Root, American Citizen, Owner and CEO and Antoni Marian Walas. American Citizen and Owner and COO.
Green Platinum Technology International. Our business is a collaboration between two good friends: Alex, CEO and Mario, COO. We aren’t really concerned with job titles, but initially, Mario will manage the operational side of the business, and Alex will manage almost everything else. Mario has been running PMG International in Dubai, UAE for four years and has a team of 5 trained and ready to join us in USA as soon as we are ready. Mario has run the UAE facility at up to 45 tons a month. Doubling capacity to 90 tons just requires adding a few more members to our team and buying and keeping enough raw material in stock, ready to process and a daily process schedule.
Mario is a seasoned business man, industrial chemist and understands every facet of the recycling business. Alex is an entrepreneur and is the rookie. Alex has brought in lots of un-named back-up to advise on every aspect of the operation.
These gentlemen are ready to collaborate and guide the team that we will create to assist us. executive level positions in Fortune 500 companies in paper conversion, food and cosmetics. We have management of manufacturing operations in multi-national locations that has been exposed to a wide variety of plant designs, start-ups, engineering of plant production lines, product designs, cost control methods and ISO standards. Also held upper level management positions in the plastics industries and electronics assembly operations.
CEO Alex Root. Managing everything other than operations.
COO Mario Walas. Managing all technical equipment, processing and purchasing.
CIO, Chief Information Officer, TBD.
COS, Chief of Standards, TBD ,
DOSS, Director of Safety and Security, TBD
We have a team of 5 (previously trained and working with Mario Walas and Precious Metals Group in UAE) and ready to begin operations immediately.
Financial Plan Forecast
Green Platinum Technology International.
We expect to process an average of 90 Tons per month during year 1 and then increase to 180 Ton per month in year 2. We use a process that is proprietary, so our competition is at the disadvantage of using the vastly less efficient smelter technology. The primary purchaser of our products has been overwhelmingly satisfied with our product.
We expect raw material to be our top cost at $100 average per piece. Our processing cost per piece will be around $10.00. The processing equipment is new and shouldn’t cost more than $100,000 annually to maintain and repair for the first two years.
The forecast is determined by the following numbers:
A) Number of Units processed per month (34,615)
B) Cost per Unit +
C) Expenses per Unit ($100+$9.50) /unit
D) Average Profit per Unit based on Market of Pt $1000/oz. ($167.50) /unit
Some additional assumptions.
1) 90 Ton processed per month of catalytic converter inserts.
2) Processing 9 x 40 ft. containers per month and each holds approximately 4000 cats?
3) Each cat weighs average 5 kilos. 60% of 5 kilos weight is recyclable insert = 2.6 kilo average.
4) Average cost per cat is $100. This average cost per cat number fluctuates with the Platinum market but tends to lag and lead and has recently been more precisely following the market as greater seller information becomes available as to the actual metal content of each serial number identifiable specific catalytic converter models.
5) 90 Tons insert weight = 34,615 catalytic converters.
6) 34,615 x 12 = 415,380 cats processed per year.
7) 8.6 containers per month x 12 = 104 containers /year
8) 34,615 cats x average $100 = $3,461,500 / month raw material cost per month.
9) $3,461,500 x 12 = $41,538,000 = total RM cost per year.
10) Costs and expenses are approximately $10 to process each converter.
11) Market Platinum (March 2016) at $1000/oz. or $32 per gram x average 7 grams recovered = ($224 average recovered per cat)
Reduced conservatively by 25% to $168 per cat in year 1, FY 2017 . (To account for PGM appreciation we have increased the average amount recover and profit per cat by $10.00 every year. Of course the price could go back to 2014 levels of $1400 per oz. much sooner than that. But here we have used only modest appreciation.) Increased to:
177.50 per piece in year 2, FY2018
187.50 per piece in year 3, FY2019
197.50 per piece in year 4, FY2020
207.50 per piece in year 5, FY2021
Leased warehouse and office space in Washington or Oregon near the Portland Metro area.
This plan has been calculated for a Kickstarter campaign. Depending on how much is raised we will be able to secure additional funding with traditional bank financing.
Financing Use of Funds
Start up capital total is $3,000,000 USD. Funds will breakdown $1,000,000 is for capital equipment and $2,000,000 for lease and acquisition plant facility and initial operation and contingency.
Additionally $4,000,000 Bank to Bank LOC (Letter of Credit) for Raw Material purchase will be needed short term for first 2 months.
Sources of Funds
Kickstarter and Bank loan and /or private financing.
Risks and challenges
The normal risks of starting a business in a new location and the normal risks of dealing in a business that requires approvals with lots of regulatory alphabets agency’s such as EPA. We have previously held these approvals in USA so do not anticipate any major obstacles.
This business and our unique industrial process has a 10 year track record of success and the necessary certifications for the processes we use. From 2010 until current, we have run this process successfully in the United Arab Emirates and now want to bring our Green Platinum Technology back to the USA.