Millions of cars or the road means only one thing, an excellent source for air pollution. The amount of pollution that all cars produce together can create big problems. The amount of pollution that all cars produce together can cause big problems. Government created laws that restrict the amount of pollution that cars produce to solve it. Auto makers have made many improvements to car engines and fuel systems to keep up with these laws. In 1975, an interesting device called catalytic converter was created. The device, converts harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they ever leave the car’s exhaust system.
The exhaust from the combustion in a car engine is comprised of six main ingredients:
- Nitrogen gas, Carbon dioxide and water vapor are the three of the main emissions. These gases do not cause damage to the atmosphere.
- Carbon Monoxide, other hydrocarbons and Nitrogen Oxides result in a majority of the pollution caused by cars.
- Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can kill you if too much is inhaled
- Hydrocarbons are produced during incomplete combustion and these hydrocarbons can be broken down by the sun, creating ground level Ozone, also known as smog.
- Nitrogen Oxides can cause acid rains.
Catalytic convertors are designed to reduce these last three emissions.
The core is often a ceramic/stainless steel foil honeycomb.
– Increases the amount of surface area
– Support the catalyst. Also called “catalyst support”.
A wash coat is used to make converters more efficient because a mixture of silica and alumina will form a rough and irregular surface which leads to more surface area. Therefore, more places for active precious metal sites. The catalyst is added to the wash coat before applied to the core.
Platinum is the most active catalyst and is widely used. Other materials such as palladium and rhodium have also been used.