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Collecting and reusing platinum after recycling

By restoring and repairing your platinum thermocouples, we save you the cost of buying new ones

Rare metal thermocouples (types B, R, and S) contain platinum (Pt) and rhodium (Rh). The extraction and production of both metals is extremely expensive, the resources are extremely rare, and the low content of the sought-after metal makes extraction even more expensive. For this reason, below we present to you why collecting platinum and reusing it after recycling is a very energy-efficient solution.

Platinum and rhodium have outstanding thermoelectric properties and are widely used in sensor technology, platinum is also for RTD sensors (Pt 100, Pt 1000, etc.), and rhodium for thermocouples (Pt-RhPt). In the case of thermocouples (TC types S, R, and B), a platinum-rhodium alloy is used in the form of a 0.35 or 0.5 mm wire (also other dimensions), which results in more expensive thermocouples and consequently more expensive thermocouples – TC temperature sensors. A major advantage of wire thermocouples is the ease of removal and collection for recycling processes.

Collecting and reusing platinum after recycling

Ever since we have been manufacturing platinum thermocouples, we have been collecting platinum from worn or damaged thermocouples and after collecting the appropriate amount, we hand it over for recycling directly to the manufacturer. The efficiency is between 97-98%, which is an extraordinary result. This is achieved due to the purity and properties of the metals used.

With this, we achieve:

✓ a sharp reduction in platinum and rhodium mining requirements;

✓ a great impact on reducing the need to use other chemical compounds in the processing of platinum, the content of which in the ore is only 2% on average;

✓ a major impact on reducing the need to use water in processing and conserving water resources;

✓ a reduction in the purchase price of platinum, which we calculate as the purchase value for new elements (old for new) – it is a forward calculation, we assume the financial burden and risk;

✓ an extremely positive impact on energy efficiency in case of correct and regular replacement of platinum thermocouples (see the article: Correct use of platinum (and other) thermocouples and energy efficiency);

✓ demonstrating a positive sustainable impact for the platinum producer;

✓ demonstrating a positive sustainable impact for the thermocouple manufacturer;

✓ demonstrating a positive sustainable impact for the customer of thermocouples;

✓ actual and real positive impact on the environment, resources, and pollution of the planet.

Platinum thermocouples are atmospherically sensitive and the wire must not come into contact with the working or process atmosphere, so they are always enclosed in ceramic or other clean protective tubes.

When the thermocouple is damaged, platinum binds substances and elements from the environment, as a result, its thermal voltage changes, which causes an error in the measurement. Such an element must be replaced immediately, regardless of whether the platinum thermocouple is still intact and apparently undamaged. We do this for regulatory, energy, and financial efficiency – we say platinum cells pay for themselves because they save far more than they cost. Not to mention the positive impact on the temperature of discharges and the reduction of greenhouse effects. But we never reuse such a “contaminated” element – just to protect it with new pipes. You would be doing yourself a disservice by doing so.

Solution ELPRO Lepenik & Co. – platinum collection and reuse after recycling

Return worn or damaged platinum thermocouples for REBUILD or REPAIR. In case of failure, you will receive a new thermocouple. We will use the relevant usable platinum and deduct the rest from the price.

“I would argue that the cost of acquiring a platinum element is only a first time cost. Everything else is energy efficiency at its best!”

– Aleksandra Lepenik (article – Correct use of platinum (and other) thermocouples and energy efficiency; May 2022)

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Left – old thermocouple, right – new thermocouple after reusing platinum

ELPRO Lepenik & Co. is a sustainable company. The collection and recycling of platinum benefit everyone involved in the economic cycle and the planet as the sole source/supplier of the raw material. Contact us to see how we can help.

☏ Call us: +386 2 62 96 720

They are always available for opinions and explanations:

expert in temperature measurements: Aleksandra Lepenik

measurement expert: Zoran Lepenik

Related articles:

Extended lifetime of the temperature sensor in incinerators

Correct use of platinum (and other) thermocouples and energy efficiency

Aleksandra Lepenik, May 2023; revision June 2023

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