What is a catalytic converter? - Elemental Asia

What is a catalytic converter?

The cars produced nowadays are significantly different from those produced a few decades ago. More stringent exhaust emission standards have obligated car manufacturers to use technologies which reduce the production of harmful gases. Reconstruction of the exhaust system by installing an element in it, which is a catalytic converter, is one of the solutions which make cars more environmentally friendly. In our article, you will learn what a catalytic converter is, and why it is important for the functioning of the car.

What is a catalytic converter?

The role of a catalytic converter in a car is extremely important. Together with other components, it forms the exhaust system of the car. Thanks to its use, the harmful exhaust gases produced by car engines are reduced. Its smooth operation reduces the amount of toxic fumes which come out while the engine is running.

Manufacturers of modern cars which are released on the market are trying to install a catalytic converter which is as technologically advanced as possible. The more modern the
catalytic converter is, the smaller the amount of the harmful exhaust fumes eventually enters the air that we breathe. Although a non-functional catalytic converter does not have to affect the comfort of driving, it is worth remembering that this element has a beneficial effect on the quality of the environment.

How is a catalytic converter built?

A car layman will probably not be interested in the elements which a catalytic converter consists of. Nevertheless, the knowledge of the elements which form a catalytic converter is helpful in a situation when this device fails. Knowledge about its construction will certainly facilitate communication with a car mechanic.

A catalytic converter consists of several elements. The first in the hierarchy is the active element, consisting of a ceramic or metal support, which is, in a way, the core of the catalytic converter. It is surrounded by a special coating which is designed to absorb the toxic substances released from the engine. This element and the coatings are surrounded by a casing, into which an exhaust pipe is placed on both sides, supplying pollutants to the reactor and discharging the filtered exhaust fumes.

Why is a catalytic converter so important? Functions of the catalytic converter

At the beginning of the article, we have already mentioned why a functional catalytic converter is so important for the functioning of the car. Ever greater air pollution made it necessary to introduce stringent regulations regarding the operation of cars. The operation of the catalytic converter tangibly reduces the emission of harmful substances which have a negative impact on our health. It is not worth underestimating the fact that a properly functioning catalytic converter captures most of the pathogenic exhaust fumes.

For example, a properly functioning catalytic converter is able to minimize the production of carbon monoxide which occurs during engine operation from 1% to 0.1%. In the scale of the entire society, in a situation where some households have several cars, this difference has a very large impact on reducing air pollution. For this reason, let us be sure that the catalytic converter is a functional element of the car.