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You don’t have to worry if you don’t understand what a catalytic converter is. Although the technology isn’t new and can be found in almost every automobile on the road today, there’s no reason why catalytic converters should be on the minds of most motorists. They work in the background, cleaning hazardous gases from your car’s exhaust emissions through chemical processes. So there’s nothing to be concerned about until yours breaks or, as has been increasingly common in recent years, someone tries to steal it.
Due to EPA restrictions on hazardous emissions reductions, catalytic converters were first used in American manufacturing automobiles in 1975. After 1975, the United States Clean Air Act mandated a 75 percent reduction in emissions in all-new model cars, which was to be achieved by installing catalytic converters.
Vehicles that do not have catalytic converters emit hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. These gases are the primary ozone generator at ground level, which creates smog and is detrimental to plant life. Generators, buses, lorries, and trains all have catalytic converters attached to their exhaust systems.
The exhaust manifold heat shield protects other engine components from its heat and prevents flammable fluids from coming into contact with it and catching fire. The exhaust manifold heat shield is a bolt that connects the cylinder head to the exhaust manifold, with a gasket on either side.
What is a Catalytic converter
Catalytic converters are gas reactors that minimize hazardous pollutants in exhaust gases as they travel through the system. The converter’s catalysts react with the exhaust gases’ hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxides, converting them to less hazardous pollutants.
A stainless steel shell encases a ceramic honeycomb core in a catalytic converter. Alumina impregnated with noble metals – platinum, palladium, or rhodium – coats the core. These are the catalysts that cause the reaction with the exhaust gases to happen.
Because a honeycomb core permits free gas flow through the converter and offers a wide surface area of contact between the catalyst and the exhaust gas, it is employed. The reaction happens on the catalyst’s surface; therefore, a high surface area is required.
Two-way and three-way catalytic converters are the two types of converters available. Platinum and palladium are used as catalysts in two-way, or oxidizing, converters, which convert HC and CO to H2O and CO2. CO2 is a non-toxic gas, while H2O is water. However, because two-way catalytic converters don’t react with NOx, the engine still needs an EGR system to keep NOx emissions under control.
Three-way converters feature an extra ceramic core with a rhodium coating that interacts with the NOx in the exhaust gases and decreases it.
Air is pumped into the exhaust system ahead of the converter in specific EGR systems to provide what is known as secondary air. This air offers extra oxygen, which is required for the converter’s NOx reaction to proceed.
Where on the exhaust system is the catalytic converter?
A close-coupled catalytic converter is found near the engine’s exhaust manifold in many automobiles. Due to its exposure to scorching exhaust gases, the converter warms up fast, allowing it to minimize unwanted emissions during the engine’s warm-up phase.
A catalytic converter is a simple device that reduces pollutants produced by an automobile by using fundamental redox processes. As a result, around 98 percent of the toxic emissions generated by an automobile engine are converted into less dangerous gases. It’s made out of a metal shell with a ceramic honeycomb-like interior and insulating layers.
The narrow wall channels in this honeycomb interior are covered with an aluminum oxide wash coat. This porous covering increases surface area, allowing for more reactions, and contains valuable metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium. In a single converter, no more than 4-9 grams of these precious metals are utilized.
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Why is the catalytic converter located there?
The catalytic converter is positioned between the exhaust manifold and the muffler on the bottom of your automobile in the exhaust system. The component is beaded or honeycomb-shaped, and it’s coated in a metal catalyst, generally a mix of platinum, rhodium, and palladium.
One of the components of an exhaust system is a catalytic converter. It can be fitted inside the exhaust manifold or directly beneath the automobile, depending on the age and type of the vehicle.
Catalytic converters are currently present in both petrol and compression-ignition engine-driven vehicles. Despite their differences in kind, they are meant to serve the same purpose.
A catalytic converter, often known as a cat, is a component of the exhaust system that removes hazardous chemicals from the exhaust gas. Catalytic converters have been used in gasoline-powered vehicles for many years.