What a catalytic converter is and what it does in a car, almost every car owner knows. However, there is some popularly repeated information about it that is not entirely true. As in almost everything, some people’s opinions must be treated with a wink. Even more so when it is their opinions or information come from an uncertain source. The catalyst in the car facts and myths – it’s worth to know them.
The catalyst in the car – facts and myths
Speaking about its assumptions and main functions, it should first be clarified who invented the catalyst in gasoline engines. Very often the information that can be found on this subject is that in 1989 Opel came up with such an idea. Unfortunately, this is not true, and the Opel brand itself simply claims the credit.
In fact, American scientists working in the 1960s and 1970s are responsible for this. It all began with the technological development that flourished after the Second World War. The American and European market is affected by the mass of cars that are becoming commonplace. Such an increase was increasingly felt by the environment.
Research has shown more and more harmful substances in the air, so they began to develop ways to reduce them in exhaust gases. California was one of the first states in the US to introduce regulations that oblige manufacturers and users to have a catalyst in a car.
In the beginning – the myths
The catalyst is a container for impurities
It is a mistake that the catalyst is considered a container for storing unnecessary combustion products. Depending on the catalyst, it has a ceramic or metal insert. There are important elements such as rhodium, platinum or palladium, which react chemically with oxides emitted from exhaust gases. As a result, they are oxidized, and therefore the exhaust gases are cleaned. In diesel engines, the catalyst oxidizes hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide, and then, for example, the DPF filter takes over the role of purification.