Edexcel level 3 BTEC National Certificate/Diploma
Applied Science (Laboratory and Industrial Science)
Applied Science (Medical Science)
Integrated Vocational Assignment
CASE STUDY 2- Johnson Matthey (Catalysts and Chemicals)
Unit 3: Workplace practices
This case study has been prepared by Mr. M. Hooper & Ms P. Hooper with the co-operation of Johnson Matthey (Catalysts and Chemicals) for the use of learners completing the IVA for the NQF Level 3 BTEC Nationals in Applied Science.
Prepared by M. Hooper & P. ...view middle of the document...
and finally to the 'Precious metal catalysts and technologies' website at:
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Company 6
'Process Catalysts and Technologies' (PCT) 9
Homogeneous Catalysts 9
Heterogeneous Catalysts 10
Company Structure 12
Financial Results 15
Standard operating procedures 15
Standard operating procedure – Laboratory Work 18
Standard operating procedure - Production 22
Typical cost structure per kilo of Homogeneous catalysts 27
Other Information - use the Website! 27
Practical Work 28
Separation of potassium nitrate and sand using a solvent (water) - comparison of three methods 28
Introduction to the Company
Johnson Matthey is a speciality chemicals company focused on its core skills in catalysts, precious metals and speciality chemicals.
The group's principal activities are the manufacture of autocatalysts and pollution control systems, catalysts and components for fuel cells, pharmaceutical compounds, process catalysts and speciality chemicals; the refining, fabrication and marketing of precious metals; and the manufacture of colours and coatings for the glass and ceramics industries.
The company comprises 4 divisions as above. This study will focus on the Catalysts division. The company has existed for over 150 years. It was founded by Percival Johnson and George Matthey around 1851. The company originally was based on the assaying precious metals i.e. determining the purity of the very expensive metals for the Bank of England. These metals include gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium; The last five are often referred to as the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) and a frequently considered on their own as gold and silver are considered not expensive enough to be included!
The activities of the company have grown from the various uses that are found for the 'precious metals'. A quick summary of the divisions follows this idea.
The precious metals are a subset of the chemicals known as the Transition Metals, which in various forms have been found to act as catalysts for chemical reactions i.e. the reactions are made faster or easier. Although precious metals are expensive they are often used because they enable some of the most complex reactions to take place. Johnson Matthey’s catalyst activities are split in to three key areas:
The 'Environmental Catalyst Technology' (ECT) business unit focuses on the ability of the precious metal catalysts to transform environmentally unfriendly gases (such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides (Nox)) into safer gases. The major application of this in vehicle exhausts and this now represents the biggest use for precious metals outside their more familiar use in Jewellery.
The 'Process Catalysts and Technologies' (PCT) business unit...