Air quality in nearly all major cities in the world had significantly deteriorated in as early as 1940. Air pollution was rampant. A major contributor to this problem was photochemical smog as well as low level ozone caused by harmful pollutants emitted from motor vehicles. There had to be a solution that would permanently solve the problem. That is how catalytic converters came into existence.
By 1970, American cars had to be fitted with catalytic converters before they could be allowed on the road. This proved to be effective as air quality slowly started improving. Much has changed since then. Today, automotive giants like Porsche boast of advanced and effective catalytic converters that make the environment safe from motor vehicle emissions. The 3 way Porsche catalytic converter is a good example of how Porsche is committed to innovative solutions that can make the world a better place.
Why It Matters
The 3 way catalytic converter is advanced and more sophisticated than conventional catalytic converters. It is designed to convert harmful gases inside the engine exhaust into harmless gases that can be safely emitted.
Note that exhaust gases from the engine are made up of toxic substances like oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. All these substances are extremely toxic to health and the environment. The three way catalytic converter steps in to convert the dangerous oxides of nitrogen to less harmful nitrogen, carbon monoxide to carbon-di-oxide and hydrocarbons into water.
How It Works
A three way catalytic converter uses reduction catalyst and oxidation catalysts to convert harmful gases into harmless gases. The reduction catalyst is made up of rhodium and platinum while the oxidation catalyst is made up of palladium and platinum.
This happens when nitrous oxide molecules (NO2 and NO) pass through the converter. The catalyst then removes the nitrogen atom and allows the free oxygen to quickly form oxygen gas. The nitrogen atom becomes attached to the catalyst quickly reacts with the other attached nitrogen atoms so as to form nitrogen gas. In simple words, reduction is made possible when the catalytic converter uses a reduction catalyst made of palladium and platinum to reduce nitrous oxides.
Exhaust gases are first sent over to the reduction catalyst which is made of rhodium and platinum. Here, the oxides of nitrogen are converted to nitrogen. The reduction catalyst rips off oxygen and nitrogen from the oxides of nitrogen. Note that nitrogen and oxygen are both harmless. Their oxides are however, harmless which is why they must be ripped off from the through reduction before the resultant reaction is released to the air.
Point To Note
Just like any car part, the catalytic converter needs regular maintenance. It can become clogged, it can overeat or it can get physically damaged. Oil and engine coolants can also contaminate it. If and when any of these setbacks occur, you will notice reduced acceleration which may be accompanied by the smell of sulphur coming from the exhaust. The best solution here is to take your car to a mechanic for accurate diagnosis and timely repair.