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What is the catalytic converter?

Read Time:2 Minute, 37 Second

Over the years, electronic combustion management and, of course, the emissions produced during combustion have been perfected in gasoline-powered vehicles.

In large cities, traffic congestion occurs daily when cars are left running and burning fuel. As a result, the gases are released into the air we breathe, polluting it.

For this reason, various automotive companies were tasked in the early 1970s with developing catalytic converters—devices mounted in the exhaust pipe that would enable cars to reduce the air pollution they produced.

The catalytic converter is a component of the vehicle’s emission control system that helps reduce the harmful elements of exhaust gases almost to zero.

Pollutant emissions react with precious metals and heat to transform themselves into the water, carbon dioxide, and other harmless compounds. The device is made of a honeycomb (preferably ceramic) inlaid with precious metal particles (platinum, palladium, and rhodium). The catalyst adds warmth to the exhaust system through the chemical reactions that occur inside and needs the heat of combustion (roughly 260°C) to activate or “deactivate.”

Two-way catalytic converters were first used in Mexico in 1992, and three years later, all vehicles sold in our nation had three-way converters.

Uses:

An essential part of an automobile’s exhaust system that helps to lower harmful emissions is the catalytic converter. Before they are released into the atmosphere, exhaust gas pollutants change into less toxic ones.

A ceramic or metal substrate coated with a catalytic substance, such as platinum, palladium, or rhodium, makes up the catalytic converter. The catalytic material in the converter initiates a chemical reaction when exhaust gases pass through it, turning pollutants into less harmful ones like water vapor and carbon dioxide.

Since the 1970s, catalytic converters have been a part of automobiles, and today they are a standard feature on most cars and trucks. They are made to reduce emissions of harmful substances like nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide. Catalytic converters are crucial in minimizing the effects of these pollutants, which are detrimental to both human health and the environment.

Catalytic converters come in various styles and designs depending on the engine type and the fuel used. Catalytic converters come in three different varieties:

  • The Oxidation catalytic converter,
  • The Three-way catalytic converter
  • The Diesel particulate filter.

In gasoline engines, the oxidation catalytic converter transforms carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Utilized in gasoline engines, the three-way catalytic converter transforms carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides into water vapor, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Diesel engines employ a particulate filter that collects the soot particles the machines produce.

It’s important to note that catalytic converters can clog up with use, reducing performance or harming an engine. Regular maintenance, such as frequent oil changes and adhering to suggested maintenance schedules, can help the catalytic converter last longer.

Conclusion

A crucial element of an automobile’s exhaust system that helps to reduce harmful emissions is the catalytic converter. Before they are released into the atmosphere, exhaust gas pollutants change into less toxic ones. Depending on the engine type and fuel used, there are various catalytic converters, and regular maintenance is crucial to extending their lifespan.

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