Market Sectors

The use of precious metals in industry dates from ancient times starting with the production of jewellery and coinage.

In the last 50 years the demand for gold and the platinum group metals has expanded into many other industries.

Platinum, palladium and rhodium are widely used in catalysts in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and chemical industries. They are also used in diverse applications, such as food preservation, anti-cancer drugs, antiseptic dressings, aerospace and fuel cells.  Iridium and ruthenium have also become used for specialized applications by industry. 

In this section we detail industries and typical material types that we refine on behalf of our customers.


These Industries use a range of precious metal catalysts in the commercial production of their products.

One of the key components in the processing of these residues is the thermal pre treatment stage to remove organics and volatile components. By using controlled temperature conditions and investing in leading technology for gas abatement the Mastermelt Group is a major global processor in this sector.

Mastermelt Germany utilizes this advanced, proven technology at our Aschaffenburg site for recovery of materials including:

  • Spent PGM on carbon or celite catalyst residues
  • Catchment filters contaminated with PGM catalyst
  • PGM residues from the nitric acid industry
  • Wipes impregnated with precious metals
  • Ion exchange resin beds
  • PGM residues from the chloro alkali industry
  • PGM recovery from coated components
  • Liquid phase PGM catalyst residues
  • PGM on alumina/silica catalysts
  • Thermocouple wire



Mastermelt’s process a myriad of materials from these sectors ranging from high grade sputtering targets to lower grade wipes and pots. Obsolete and reject parts are always destroyed ensuring sensitive technology re-appearing in the market place.

We can process materials including the following at our sites in Aschaffenburg, Germany, and Buxton, UK

  • MLCC component scrap
  • Thick film scrap
  • Scrap ICs
  • Shot blasting media
  • Sputterer shield cleaning
  •  Spent precious metal targets with or without backing plates
  • Plated components
  • Waste solutions with PGM’s
  • Wipes and paste pots
  • Resins


The advanced thermal treatment technology at our refining sites including Aschaffenburg are uniquely suited to treat materials incluuding

  • Wastes from the manufacturing of PGM catalyst powders, inks and slurries (Pt, Ir, Rh & Ru) used in PEM-Fuel cell/PEM-Electrolyser production.
  • ‘Wet’ PGM wastes as inks and slurries from the coating of PEM’s (proton exchange membranes).
  • ‘Dry’ PGM wastes from the manufacturing of MEA’s (Membrane Electrode Assemblies) as catalyst residues, evaporated slurries, PEM reels, gas diffusion layers (GDL’s) and sealant materials.
  • ‘Consumable’ PGM wastes as used product pots, contaminated wipes and PPE from the manufacturing of MEA’s.
  • Waste MEA’s from PEM-Fuel cell/PEM-Electrolyser stack production.
  • MEA’s removed from the EOL PEM-Fuel cell/PEM-Electrolyser.

Precious metals used for other components in the PEM-Fuel cell stack such as Pt, Pd or Au coated bipolar plates


The Mastermelt Group has developed non destructive chemical processes to reclaim platinum from end of life engine components.

In addition these processes add significant value to the base alloys of these components.

Mastermelt Germany customers have access to our specialized processes at our site in Buxton, UK, for services including the following: 

  • Gold and Palladium reclaim from Brazing Alloys
  • Gold and Silver reclaim from Avionics
  • Silver reclaim from coated components and wires
  • Platinum reclaim from aero engine hot section components


Production scraps / residues, from the manufacturing of diabetes testing kits, surgical dressings and other facilities, are processed at our Aschaffenburg facility, including specifically:

  • PGM alloy scrap
  • Silver residues and reject products
  • PGM coated parts
  • Pt crucibles


Mastermelt GmbH in Aschaffenburg  treats a range of production residues from the architectural and heat resistant glass industries:

  • PGM residues and resins from architectural glass production
  • PGM residues from heat resistant tableware borosilicate production lines
  • Silver residues from mirroring applications.


Mastermelt GmbH recovers precious metal from customers low grade materials such as wires and scrap plated components.  These include:   

  • Au & Ag cyanide solutions
  • PGM solutions and plating baths
  • Ion exchange resins and scavengers
  • Wipes and filters
  • Precious metal coatings on jigging wires and components
  • Au & Ag plated scrap
  • Spent anodes
  • Pt, Pd, Rh, Ru plated scrap