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"Boyfriend wants to "pan" catalytic converters like you do for gold"



March 10, 2010

Hi,
My boyfriend is a catalytic converter broker. He has been doing it for about 28 years. Recently, I acquired a gold panning kit to use to pan for gold in the streams of Colorado. My boyfriend has boxes of leftover converter guts and he thinks he can "pan" them using the same gold technique for the precious metals in them. I think it is dangerous and he could get poisoned doing this. Am I correct? I really don't want him to do this unless I know it is safe.

Ellen Johnson
co owner of recycling company - Evergreen, Colorado
^


March 11, 2010

Hi, Ellen. This is stuff that is in every car and I don't think it's dangerous in the form it is in. but I also doubt that it can be panned. The gold you are searching for is elemental gold nuggets. To my knowledge, the precious metals in catalytic converters are exceptionally small particles, bound into a alumina slurry, and I seriously doubt that there is any chance of simply and mechanically separating the precious metal from the carrier slurry and getting those tiny particles to settle in a gold pan.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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