The catalyst of the car is important for the environment, everyone surely knows that. But how does a catalyst work? In any internal combustion engine, also poisonous, polluting gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons occur in addition to carbon dioxide and water. As far as possible to reduce the emissions of these substances harmful to humans, the catalyst is used. It converts the poisonous substances in non-toxic gases. The catalyst of the car is also called the three-way catalytic converter.
Today’s catalysts reduce pollutants by 90% or more in collaboration with the lambda probe. By definition actually no real catalyst, catalyst for the car is a three-way. A catalyst is an element that is able to speed up a chemical reaction without itself to be consumed. This is not the case in a three-way catalytic converter, catalytic converter is the correct term. To convert the toxic emissions, the precious metals used in a car’s catalytic converter Palladium, Platinum and rhodium. Catalysts are car parts, which are subject to more wear and regularly checked and exchanged must.
What chemical processes run in a catalytic converter? The harmful exhaust gases of an internal combustion engine contain unburned fuel residues, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. These substances meet the catalytic converter on a chemically active layer, which contains the precious metals Platinum, palladium and rhodium. Due to the chemical reaction of the substances carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon in water vapour and nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and oxygen are split. The substances produced by chemical reactions are largely harmless and at least not directly harmful to health. The emitted carbon dioxide is also not good for the environment (greenhouse effect) while not poisonous, but of course. The chemical process takes place in a block, which is made of rough pottery. There are 62 individual honeycombs per square inch cross-sectional area inside of the block. Because of this construction is the entire Surface of the block 20,000 m.A cleaning effect is achieved with the latest catalysts by almost 99%, which is already a remarkable achievement. For the ceramic block to be as long-lasting, it is soft and is inspected every two years within the framework of the emission analysis (AU). Although the ceramic block is well protected, it can happen that a catalytic converter is inoperable. This happens, for example, in case of accidents through mechanical damage or even putting on uneven roads with many potholes or careless driving in traffic-calmed zones with bumps. Also leaded petrol and defective ignition systems are detrimental to the catalytic converter. When defective ignition systems, it can happen that gasoline dripping unverbrannt in the ceramic block, ruined any catalyst in a short time. Eva Otter