Journal Archive

Platinum Metals Rev., 1974, 18, (3), 103

New Plants in Three Countries

Exhaust Catalyst Production and Refinery Expansion

Two new plants, the first of their kind in the world, have recently been opened by the Johnson Matthey Group for the production of catalyst units for the control of fume emission from car exhausts. The earlier one, at Royston in England, is operated by Johnson Matthey Chemicals, who have already been successful in securing contracts from Rolls Royce and from Volkswagen for the supply of substantial quantities of the specially developed platinum catalysts for incorporation in the exhaust systems of cars to be exported to the United States. The second new plant is at Devon, Pennsylvania, and is operated by Matthey Bishop, who have a contract with Ford to supply catalyst units for their 1975 models.

Exhaust emission control catalysts have been described previously in this journal (1, 2). They consist of elliptical or cylindrical ceramic honeycombs, which act as the supports for dispersions of promoted platinum metals. Size and shape depend upon the size of the car and its engine, and upon the space available for the exhaust train below the vehicle.

Finished honeycomb catalyst pieces being removed from the furnace conveyor belt after firing at the Royston factory of Johnson Matthey Chemicals Ltd. They will be incorporated in automobile catalyst systems by European manufacturers of motor vehicles

The steady increase in the demand for the platinum metals is responsible for the third new facility, a major extension to the platinum refinery at Wadeville, near Johannesburg, operated by Matthey Rustenburg Refiners, the joint company formed in 1972 by Johnson Matthey and Rustenburg Platinum Mines to absorb all matte treatment and refining into one organisation. The capacity of the Wadeville refinery has now been expanded to process more than one million ounces a year of platinum with proportional amounts of the other platinum metals.


  1. 1
    G. J. K. Acres and B. J. Cooper, Platinum Metals Rev., 1972, 16, ( 3 ), 74 – 86
  2. 2
    G. J. K. Acres,, B. S. Cooper and G. L. Matlack, Ibid., 1973, 17, ( 3 ), 82 – 87

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