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platinum in spark plugs?

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Greenthumbgrow

Post August 16th, 2008, 1:41 pm

platinum in spark plugs?

how much platinum is on a spark plug? been saving them
Last edited by Greenthumbgrow on August 16th, 2008, 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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NuggetHuntingFool

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Post August 16th, 2008, 1:44 pm

If you search "Spark Plug" "Spark Plugs" "Sparkplug" "Sparkplugs" with the search function you'll find your answer.

I recall a recent post where somebody had mentioned values in spark plugs.

Good Luck.
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Greenthumbgrow

Post August 16th, 2008, 1:47 pm

thanks
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Ignatz61

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Post October 6th, 2008, 4:10 pm

I have been experimenting with spark plugs o2 sensors and other sources of Platinum group metals. My first goal is to find shortcuts to mechanically separating the PGMs from whatever substrate they are attached to.

Next is to chemically strip the PGMS from whats left or visa versa.

And last of course would be to separate the PGMs from each other and refine to a saleable state.

One example is to clip just the ends of the spark plug and grounding electrode as close as possible to the small Pt pad on each. This leaves small amounts of whatever the alloy is, to be desolved.

My first batch is at this stage and I am soaking the bits in HCL. It turns a dark green.
I am wondering what alloy I am disolving --Copper? The metal is silve in color but is maleable like copper.
Last question - is HCL the best choice for this?
thanks
john
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Harold_V

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Post October 6th, 2008, 11:43 pm

I'm of the opinion that you are dissolving steel (iron).

HCl does an adequate job if that be the case.. You might also enjoy success with dilute sulfuric.

I used to remove the value included bits of steel from spark plugs by using the pieces in my stock pot. I'd part off the platinum portion (using a metal lathe), which minimized the amount of included steel. I wasn't concerned with recovering the values directly, although that isn't hard to do unless the bits are very tiny. I just included all the waste in my other waste material, which was then processed by furnace.

Harold
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Ignatz61

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Post October 7th, 2008, 2:01 pm

Thanks Harold!
I will give the Sulfuric a try. Dropping the bits in the stock pot Sounds good.
I am trying to get a handle on how many plugs it would take to recover an ounce of Platinum (PGMs) for now they are free for the taking from most auto shops.

I have Hoke's book, in fact I used the link from your Posts to get it. I want to learn how to process the Platinum group and I learn best by doing. So Free Platinum to learn with is good by me. I know spark plugs are never going to earn anyone a living especially at today's prices.
I have one or two little pieces of metal still disolving and then I will be ready to refine the PGMs.
I am thinking of hot HCL-CL (as I have no Nitric yet) and Precipitate one at a time. I have to read up on how to selectively precipatate the Pt, Pd and Rh.
thanks again
john
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JustinNH

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Post October 7th, 2008, 9:44 pm

Yeah, there are a couple threads onhere about 02 sensors and spark plugs. I need to drop off a bin somewhere that said they would fill it with them. When I have time I'll have to go talk to other places. I know its very little (I think someone said about 80 to make a gram) but I dont care... I'll spend a hundred bucks to get 30 just for the fact that I did it. I probably spent 3-500 bucks in gas and food gold panning this year to find about $150 worth of gold... I wouldnt have traded it for anything though! :P
-Justin
Can't..wait..for..gold..panning..this..spring!!!
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Rag and Bone

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Post October 7th, 2008, 9:49 pm

Anybody have prices for mixed auto spark plugs?
"I prefer virgin territory but I'll take sloppy seconds any day."
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JustinNH

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Post October 7th, 2008, 10:01 pm

well at 80 to get a gram... say a gram is $40.. that would be 0.50 a piece less chemicals, and thats if they are all plat tipped... since there are other variations of tips... Id say around 20 cents a piece would make sense, maybe a bit more... but thats just a guess :P
-Justin
Can't..wait..for..gold..panning..this..spring!!!
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Rag and Bone

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Post October 7th, 2008, 10:08 pm

Justin,

Thanks for the info. Where are you coming up with your yield figure? I'm not convinced all plugs contain any platinum.
"I prefer virgin territory but I'll take sloppy seconds any day."
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JustinNH

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Post October 7th, 2008, 10:26 pm

From another post on here I read a week ago (an older post). No, not all plugs contain platinum, thats why I said it was assuming they all did in my figures :P
They have changed their makeup throughout time and throughout manufacturer. Depending on the application needed and advertising claims, they have ranged from common copper to PGMs and everything in between.
-Justin
Can't..wait..for..gold..panning..this..spring!!!
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Harold_V

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Post October 7th, 2008, 11:17 pm

In fairness, I think you should know that my experience was with platinum plugs from aircraft. I don't know that I ever saw one from an auto----which I would assume would be much lower quality. Also, this was when platinum was under $400/ounce, so they were more likely to use it in larger volume. Long before the pressure on the platinum market for catalytic converters.

I recall quite well that there was a short length of round platinum for the center electrode, probably about a grain in weight. The ground electrode varied from manufacturer to manufacturer, although all yielded platinum. I figure about 10 plugs would yield a gram.

Harold
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Rag and Bone

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Post October 7th, 2008, 11:48 pm

Be careful throwing around second-hand claims.
"I prefer virgin territory but I'll take sloppy seconds any day."
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qst42know

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Post October 8th, 2008, 4:42 am

Here are some of the automotive ones with images of the part you are after.

http://www.boschautoparts.com/Products/ ... atinum.htm
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Ignatz61

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Post October 8th, 2008, 9:30 am

Does Yttrium have any significant value? It appears to add to the conductivity of the sparkplugs. If it has value how would we separate it from the Platium?

I am very happy. I have been struggling with my Stannous Chloride. I have tried several solutions I know contain Precious Metals ie. Gold. but no puple stain, Anyway I tested some AR (poor man's) that I recently put in some Platinum bearing material from Spark PLugs and got a beautiful brown-coffee colored stain when I tested with my Stannous chloride!!

That was just a test. Now to accumulate some material and find out real yeild data.

Also I sent off the ground up ceramic (Zirconia sp? I believe) for assay looking for Pt, Pd and Rh.
The results put the percent by wieght of PGMs at the fourth place to the right of the decimal point! That makes about 12 troy oz of PGMs per ton of ceramic. This does not include the steel case.
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Ignatz61

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Post October 8th, 2008, 9:33 am

Hey, I just noticed

I am not a Newbie anymore!!!! :D
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qst42know

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Post October 8th, 2008, 4:01 pm

My best guess is yttrium has great value to the manufacturers of these plugs in reducing the amount of platinum they need to make them.

This was clipped from the web

United States Geological Survey published commodities information gives a price estimate for yttrium oxide in 2005 of between US$4.5/lb and US$38.5/lb depending on parcel size. Yttrium is used in phosphors for television and computer monitors and in various other electronics and alloying applications.

Chris
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JustinNH

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Post October 8th, 2008, 7:54 pm

Rag and Bone wrote:Be careful throwing around second-hand claims.


Sparks plugs are not expensive at all, so it would make sense for them to contain that little. Enough that I don't mind saying it even without proof. I know I read a similar figure somewhere else as well (I think the previous quote said about 13mg and the outside source I found a year or so ago said 15mg average per).

Harold, I wish auto ones were the same as aircraft! :wink: Sparkplugs would blow cats out of the water in PM scrap since any given garage changes them about daily...
-Justin
Can't..wait..for..gold..panning..this..spring!!!
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Harold_V

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Post October 8th, 2008, 10:53 pm

JustinNH wrote:I wish auto ones were the same as aircraft! :wink: Sparkplugs would blow cats out of the water in PM scrap since any given garage changes them about daily...

Do keep in mind the timeframe I referenced. It's entirely possible aircraft plugs are no longer made the same as they were. This was way back, in the 70's.

When I commented on the center electrode, it was roughly 3/64" diameter, and about 7/16" long. Platinum, being as heavy as it is, I'm sure it came close to a grain in weight. At that time, it would have added well less than a buck to the price of a plug. Pretty cheap insurance when you consider the consequences of a failed engine.

Considering the value of platinum today, even with he price going under $1,000, a grain would cost over two dollars.

Might pay readers to check with small airports that have piston aircraft and maintenance people. That was the source of mine, although they came to me through a second party.

Harold
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Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.
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JustinNH

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Post October 9th, 2008, 11:45 am

Yeah, if i had an airplane, id be happy to have the most expensive plugs possible, if they were more reliable :P
-Justin
Can't..wait..for..gold..panning..this..spring!!!
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