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Catalytic Reverter Essay

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In today’s society, cars and other transportation vehicles produce pollution, harming the environment as well as one’s health. Engines produce toxic substances such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. However, the invention of the catalytic converter has helped reduce the pollution. Catalytic converters were first used due to the contractions on toxic emission regulations in the 1970s. The catalytic converter “turn the harmful chemicals in vehicle exhausts into harmless gases such as steam” (Woodford). These catalytic converters are essential to creating a less polluted atmosphere. An engine with and without a catalytic converter differs greatly and the reactions occurring are very significant in understanding the role of the converter;…show more content…
Chemical reactions are occurring in order to change the toxins. These reactions are 2NOx → xO2 + N2, 2CO + O2 → 2CO2, and CxH2x+2 + [(3x+1)/2]O2 → xCO2 + (x+1)H2O. The type of catalytic converter, whether it’s two way or three way, will cause different reactions. The two way converter’s job is to lower the hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions simultaneously. The two way converter is only able to add and remove oxygen, processes known as reduction and oxidation. “Because of their [two way converters] inability to control oxides of nitrogen, they were superseded by three-way converters” (“Types of Catalytic Converters”). The three way converter, in addition to controlling oxygen amounts, reduces nitrogen oxide. 2NOx → xO2 + N2 breaks up nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen oxide spoils the environment when it reacts with oxygen; however, the catalytic converter breaks it up, reducing the amount of nitrogen oxide being released. In the reaction 2CO + O2 → 2CO2, oxygen is added to carbon monoxide to create carbon dioxide, which is practically harmless. Oxygen is also added in the reaction CxH2x+2 + [(3x+1)/2]O2 → xCO2 + (x+1)H2O to unburnt hydrocarbons in order to create carbon dioxide and water, which are again harmless. Catalytic converters play a major role in assisting in the reactions in order to change the products by rearranging and breaking up the…show more content…
The catalytic converters are very pricey. “To reduce costs, experiments are being done to lessen the amount of platinum (Pt) and substitute palladium (Pd) in converters” (“Improved Low-Temperature Performance of Catalytic Converters”). The catalytic converter uses catalysts such as platinum which is expensive; however, the producers are trying to use cheaper catalysts or at least less of it. “Not enough oxygen is available to oxidize the carbon fuel in these engines completely into carbon dioxide and water; thus toxic by-products are produced” (“Catalytic Converters”). Today, there are many experiments being conducted in order to find a solution to the problem and completely prevent the engine from releasing toxins. Catalytic converters are inhibited by lead as well as manganese and silicon due to the fact that they prevent it from functioning properly.. It can be improved by increasing the engine’s temperature to get rid of these substances from the exhaust pipe. Some detrimental environmental effects are the creation of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, which contribute to global warming. This can be fixed by improving the catalytic converters. In doing so, the catalytic converter would be more efficient and it wouldn’t harm the environment in any
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