Home News Science&Tech Demand for Rhodium propels the world prices to the records

Demand for Rhodium propels the world prices to the records

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The precious metal rhodium, which the automotive industry uses to filter emissions, is currently the most expensive precious metal. Rhodium is now fifteen times more expensive than gold, and almost ten times more expensive than palladium, and other similar metal used by the car industry.

Car manufacturers put the precious metals in the catalyst, which ensures that harmful substances are neutralized and turn into nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water. Because of tighter emission regulations, automakers have to put more precious metal in the exhaust pipes of the cars, and this makes the metal extra demanded. Last year there was even a shortage of the metals platinum, palladium and rhodium used. That’s really pushed up the prices. For example, rhodium is now traded for 27,000 dollars per ounce (nearly 23,000 euros).

The precious metals are mined in South Africa and Russia, but that is a complex and therefore costly process. The estimated volume is only between 20 and 25 tonnes per year. Experts expect that the use of the metals will increase by an average of 20 percent over the next ten years. In the long term, the increasing production and demand for electric cars may have an effect on the demand for these precious metals, as electric cars do not need the precious metals.

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