Innovative Processes Creating New Resources

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    New Technological Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
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    Innovative, Revolutionary, Precious Metals Recovery Process

PGM Recovery



In partnership with industry, NovX21 offers a simple, ecological operating technology for the low-cost recovery of precious metals, with small-footprint facilities that require only a small investment to install.

The technology transforms PGM-rich materials into a highly-concentrated metallic powder in just a few days. The product is sent to a refiner to be separated into the three most important precious metals from the Platinum Group: platinum, palladium and rhodium.

The goal is to complete the cycle in six weeks or less for significantly-better cash flow when compared to other recovery methods.

The distinct advantage of NovX21’s technology lies in its modularity and potential for increased capacity. Each plant to be built should be equipped with four 50 tpy reactors, with capacity related to the number of reactors operating in parallel. There is no need to scale the reactor.

NovX21’s strategy is focused on vertical integration with refiners and partners who can supply large volumes of catalytic converters.


NovX21 seeks to secure plant feedstock through strategic partnership with collectors of catalytic converters from auto salvage (wreck) yards and aggregators. To reduce the risk associated with fluctuations in supply, the supplier ensures a steady supply by building its plant with NovX21-specified equipment.

The transformation process allows the supplier to become an integrator for the recovery of precious metals, from salvaged catalytic converters to the refinery-ready PGM powder. This integration can add value to the catalytic converters through a finished product containing PGM that can be sold on the market.

Potential Clients

  • Collectors of salvaged automotive catalytic converters
  • Collectors of catalysts used in chemical processes
  • Collectors of catalysts used in petroleum processes
  • Recyclers of electrical equipment containing PGM
  • Recyclers of heat-resistant PGM-based equipment

Competitive advantages

The qualities and properties of the technology are such that a plant could be installed in any region that can supply at least 200,000 salvaged vehicle-motors, equivalent to 200 tonnes/year of catalytic convertors. This volume allows the plant to operate around the clock and thus the operation to be profitable.

The plant consumes very little energy, about 4 kW per hour per reactor. Its footprint is small, at about 4,000 ft2 (400 m2) for a 200-t plant. Gaseous emissions consist of air, moisture and carbon dioxide from calcination – all clean and environmentally friendly exhaust.

  • Conversion speed 6 kg/h per reactor (1 kg = 1 catalytic converter)
  • The finished product is a fine 35-µm metallic powder containing no glass or carbon.
  • No special preparation is needed to process the ceramic unit containing the PGM.
  • Rapid plant construction
  • Rapid operator training
  • Remote process control and supervision
  • Profit margins estimated at more than 30% for a four-50tpy-reactor plant

NovX21 offers to businesses that specialize in the recovery of catalytic converter a technology enabling them to increase their profit margins.

The technology's capacity to quickly recover precious metals with a very high rate of return is a pathway to profitable businesses.

The process has the distinct advantage of rapidly transforming PGM without using harmful chemicals. The process operates at low temperatures to transform metals into soluble metal salts.

*PGM: Platinum group elements

Controlled Services

NovX21's process is automated, with operating parameters kept within the suitable ranges. In conjunction with local control, NovX21 provides remote supervision and control via the Internet, thus ensuring parameter compliance for optimal reaction results. Historical data is also stored remotely.

The NovX21 process is simple and requires only basic training to operate. However, the process consists of complex physical and chemical reactions that can interact with the mixture from different types of catalytic converters. To reduce the need for local expertise, NovX21 will provide technical assistance via videoconferencing, as well as remote monitoring of critical equipment.

NovX21’s services will include sales management for the finished product and by-products. NovX21 will also manage relationships with refiners to obtain the best possible terms based on the total volume processed.

Health and Safety

NovX21 operates a prototype industrial plant for the recovery of platinum-group elements since 2011 under a certificate of authorization from the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (MDDEFP) of the Province of Quebec, Canada.

The process requires that the reactors operate in a 100% low-flow chlorine gas environment under negative pressure.

Small-diameter piping is used for chlorine, reducing the quantities to be transported. The pressure in the tanks is low. A sensor system monitors ambient air at ground level and a forced ventilation system at ground level with a fresh air supply can be triggered if chlorine is detected.

The equipment is impermeable and sealed. System leak management is a process trade secret of NovX21 that increases our competitive advantages.

The engineering group Seneca is in charge of the detailed engineering plans for the first commercial plant, including sound health and safety practice recommendations to ensure the safety of all processes.