How Much Rhodium is in a Catalytic Converter? (Explained)

How Much Rhodium is in a Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters help to convert or change the harmful gases that are a part of the exhaust gas into less harmful gases. A catalytic converter is found in the exhaust system.

Catalytic converters change these gases by a chemical reaction that happens when the gas meets a catalyst inside the converter. Catalysts such as Rhodium, palladium, and platinum are commonly used in catalytic converters. So. the question is, how much rhodium is in a catalytic converter?

The average amount of rhodium in catalytic converters is about 1-2 grams with a cost of $290 per gram which is one of the reasons why catalytic converters are very expensive.

What is Rhodium?

Rhodium, which can also be represented by the symbol Rh is an element (a chemical element) that is one of the noble metals and also a member of the platinum group.

Its atomic number is 45 and it is currently not as known as the other metals from the same group.

Rhodium is a very rare metal that has a silvery-white color with a surface that is very hard. It is one of the transition metals and it’s very resistant to corrosion.

Rhodium has a naturally occurring isotope( 103rh) and it’s usually found as a free metal or as an alloy. It is also found as a chemical compound in some minerals like rhodplumsite and bowieite, although this occurs rarely.

Rhodium is mostly used all around the world as an auto-catalyst. As reiterated earlier, it is one of the platinum group metals and it is used as a catalyst alongside other platinum group metals(platinum and palladium).

Rhodium has increased greatly in value in recent times and it has become more valuable than Gold by a high margin.

Rhodium is widely used in catalytic converters, it helps to reduce harmful nitrogen oxides that are being emitted into the atmosphere to exhaust less harmful gases.

Rhodium is one of the most valuable of all the platinum group metals and it is also one of the rarest and most expensive metals in the world.

How Much Rhodium is in a Catalytic Converter?

The amount of Rhodium that’s found in a car catalytic converter is dependent on the make and model of the car.

Although the average amount of rhodium that’s found in a car is between 1-2 grams. This is because rhodium is a very rare metal which makes it quite expensive and so very little amount is used in catalytic converters.

Also, the engine of a car is a factor that determines how much rhodium is used in a car’s catalytic converter. It is a very expensive metal hence the rise of catalytic converter theft.

As reiterated earlier and the price of rhodium depends on the quality of the metal which insinuates that rhodium that is found in cars is of different qualities depending on the metal.

Rhodium can also be easily gotten from the old catalytic converters by recycling.

What are the Functions of Rhodium in Catalytic Converters?

Rhodium has several qualities and functions which make it important and always used in the manufacture of a car’s catalytic converters.

Rhodium is used in electroplating other metals. Electroplating is the process whereby rhodium is applied to the body of other metals and this is done by inserting the other metal that is about to be electroplated into a solution of rhodium that has been heated.

This solution usually contains rhodium sulfate, water, and sulfuric acid.

To complete the process of electroplating, an electric current is passed through the heated rhodium solution which makes the bonding between the metal and the rhodium solution permanent.

Catalytic converters are made of ceramic materials and are usually coated eventually with rhodium.

Rhodium is also used as a catalyst in catalytic converters. A catalyst speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction and that is exactly what rhodium does in a catalytic converter.

Rhodium just like every other catalyst doesn’t participate in the reaction but it speeds up the rate at which toxic gases that are being let out into the catalytic converter from the engine are being converted to less harmful gases.

What Catalytic Converter Has the Most Rhodium?

Considering how expensive rhodium is and that the catalytic converter is coated with rhodium, the car with the most rhodium would have the most expensive catalytic converter or be prone to catalytic converter thefts.

One of the cars with the most rhodium is the Toyota Prius. The Toyota Prius catalytic converter is worth up to $2000 per catalytic converter.

As reiterated earlier one of the determinants of the amount of rhodium in vehicles is the engine size and the Toyota Prius had a big engine.

Another car on this list of cars with the most rhodium and expensive catalytic converter is the BMW 760iLi. The BMW 760iLi has a catalytic converter that contains up to $1300 worth of rhodium.

Also, the Ferrari F430 has two catalytic converters in its exhaust system and each converter is worth up to $3770 which means it contains a high amount of rhodium and the other platinum group metals.

So many other fast cars, especially those that require two catalytic converters have a high amount of rhodium in them.

Can You Get Rhodium Out of Catalytic Converter?

Rhodium can be extracted out of a catalytic converter and this can be done easily by individuals. However, the process of extracting is very delicate and if it’s not properly done can cause harmful gases to be released into the air.

This is why it is always advisable to meet someone or go to a scrap and recovery service shop. They must be professionals because they would have all the tools needed to safely extract the metals I’d they’re not professionals.

How to Get Rhodium Out of Catalytic Converter.

Getting rhodium out of a catalytic converter can be done in a few different ways, it’s best to get a professional scrap and recovery service to do the job.

One of the methods of extracting rhodium from a catalytic converter is a process called “aqua regia”.

Aqua regia means “royal water” and it was given this name for two reasons. First because of its ability to dissolve gold and secondly because of its red or yellowish coloration.

The process of aqua regia involves a mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid to safely extract rhodium from a catalytic converter.

Another method for extracting rhodium from catalytic converters is through Electrolysis.

Electrolysis is a process by which an electrical current is passed through a substance but in this case, the electric current is being passed through an object and that’s the catalytic converter.

These processes can only be done with the proper knowledge of mixing these chemicals and knowing the right amount of electrical current to be passed. Also, you must have the right equipment to complete these processes.

The process of electrolysis is very complex and dangerous if not done properly because mistakes can cause harmful chemicals to be released into the air.

Pros of Rhodium in Catalytic Converters

The advantages of rhodium in catalytic converters are:

Conversion of Harmful Gases

One of the reasons why rhodium is important in catalytic converters is because it helps in conception harmful exhaust gases into less harmful ones. Rhodium converts nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide into less harmful nitrogen and carbon dioxide.


Rhodium, because of its corrosion resistance and its durability is used in the electroplating of converters.


Catalytic converters are becoming very susceptible to theft because people are getting to know the value of the rhodium in it so cars should be parked in safe spaces to avoid their converters being stolen.