This October marks 100 years since we made the first gauze catalyst.
In 1916 we sold the first gauze catalyst to the UK Munitions Inventions Department to make nitric acid for explosives following the outbreak of war. The two 6 x 4 inch platinum gauzes were made with 0.065 mm diameter wire, woven in a square mesh with 80 meshes per linear inch, with a price of £25.
Since then, there have been significant changes to the manufacturing process and in the industry as a while, including:
- Platinum-rhodium alloys being introduced in the 1930s to increase the gauze strength, reduce platinum losses and increase conversion efficiency.
- Palladium catchment gauzes, made from the 1960s to recover lost platinum; these were originally palladium-gold but as the price of gold rose it was replaced with nickel.
- Pioneering knitting technology in the 1990s, allowing a diverse range of structures and alloys to be used, improving performance and reducing manufacturing time compared to woven gauzes. Our technology became the industry standard.
- Development of our trademarked Eco-CatTM technology in 1996 in response to rising pgm prices, offering several advantages to nitric acid manufacturers compared to standard gauze packs.
Through these developments we now sell tailored gauzes as part of a full service offering to customers, which includes:
- Catchment gauzes
- Nitrous oxide abatement catalysts to reduce harmful emissions
- Abatement basket engineering for the nitrous oxide catalysts to improve performance
- Technical analysis
- Precious metal management
- Precious metal refining
- Plant cleaning to recover lost metal, in partnership with RS Bruce
- Process simulation of the entire nitric acid plant, in partnership with ProSim
- Water treatment for the cooling tower
- Absorption tower scanning