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The global push towards lower carbon emissions may be having a positive effect on climate change, but it has also resulted in unexpected consequences in other venues. One of these includes the increased demand for catalytic converters in automobiles worldwide and a rise in the value of palladium, a precious metal.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
Most automobile owners recognize the name catalytic converter as an instrument that is required in their exhaust system. This device aims to reduce the number of harmful agents released into the air through the exhaust system.
Because these devices reduce the toxic gases and other pollutants released by internal combustion engines, most cars in the United States were equipped with catalytic converters starting in 1975.
Why are Catalytic converters Increasing in Demand?
While most vehicles in North America have contained catalytic converters for many years, the regulations regarding whether it was necessary to have one installed vary widely around the world. Recently, however, that has changed.
Now that other counties around the world are creating new regulations regarding the use of catalytic converters, the demand for their essential components has skyrocketed. Given that the population of China and India dwarf that of North America, it is easy to see how dramatic an impact these regulations have had.
The Value of Palladium
In order to achieve their function of reducing pollutants, every catalytic converter requires the precious metal palladium to function. This particular automobile component has become so costly because palladium is a rare metal that is only obtained as a by-product of mining other metals.
While the demand for catalytic converters was low, the world's supply of palladium remained stable. However, that demand has increased intensely, which has resulted in scarcity, and its value has skyrocketed. Today, the value of palladium is even higher than that of gold.
The Value of Dental Scrap
One of the consequences of the increased value of palladium is that dentists are able to earn more income. That's because dentists can save their dental scrap - leftover material from restoration work - and take it to dental scrap specialists to extract and refine the precious metals it contains.
Catalytic Converter Theft
Another consequence of the increased value of palladium and catalytic converters has been a dramatic rise in the theft of catalytic converters around the world. Unfortunately, in the United States, car owners who become victims of this type of theft regularly pay up to $1000 to replace the stolen part.
In fact, in some areas, the increase of this type of theft is so prevalent that police are urging locals to write the licence plate number on their catalytic converters to help fight crime and decrease theft.
When the value of a particular commodity is increased due to global demand, there are both positive and negative consequences. If you're a dentist that is interested in capitalizing on the increased value of palladium, get in contact with a company that can extract and refine the precious metals in your dental scrap.