Essay On Catalytic Reverter

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The Catalytic converter
The catalytic converter is a simple yet fascinating invention that uses precious metals such as platinum palladium, and rhodium as catalyst to cause reduction and oxidation reactions that can reduce dangerous gasses produced by combustion engines by over 95% converting them into less harmful gasses. Even though catalytic converters are quite simple they are still extremely expensive, this is due to the precious metals that are used as catalysts.

The reactions that take place to convert the harmful gasses to un-harmful gasses could not occur without the right amount of energy, for a reaction to take place it has to reach the correct activation energy. Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy that the reacting species must have in order to undergo the specified reaction. The catalytic converter helps the thermodynamic process by decreasing the activation energy needed for the reaction to take place. The catalyst will not form a product but will change the speed of the reaction.

The stainless steel housing of the catalytic converter contains two ceramic blocks, these blocks are honeycombed with hundreds of small passages. This honeycomb structure increases the surface area of the catalytic converter, which allows more reactions to be simultaneously reacting. The sides of these passages are coated with platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These are very expensive metals, but when used properly in a catalytic converter they are more than worth the cost. These metals are capable of causing toxic gasses to react and then recombine into harmless gasses, all this can be done without the precious metals altering themselves or rusting. The point of the honeycomb structure used in these ceramic plates is...

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...ese dangerously harmful gasses would be released into our atmosphere by all combustion engines. Although the catalytic converter when operating at its optimal temperature can break down over 95% percent of the harmful gasses produced by the engine it does not do a well at all when not at high temperatures. It takes about five miles of driving for most vehicles to reach a temperature at which the reactions will reach near completion, before this temperature the catalytic converter does practically nothing to convert these harmful gases. Some catalytic converters now have coils running from the engine to the catalytic converter to heat the catalytic converter to its optimal temperature soon after the engine has started to produce harmful gasses. With this improvement the catalytic converter can effectively reduce almost all of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.
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