Working Principles and Uses of a Catalytic Converter

catalytic converter

The catalytic converter is a large metal device, which is bolted to the underside of a car.  This large metal device consists of both the input pipe, otherwise known as the “converter’s input”, and the output pipe, which is also known as the “converter’s output”.

 

How does a Catalytic Converter work?

A catalytic converter makes use of it’s input pipe to collect hot hazardous fumes from the engine’s cylinder, since the input pipe is connected to the engine itself. while the output pipe, which is known to be connected to the exhaust releases vapor. There are always series of chemical reactions which takes place on the catalyst’s surface, whenever gases from the engine fumes blows over it, This chemical reaction breaks apart hazardous gases and converts them into gases that are neither hazardous nor poisonous to the society.

 

Does a Catalytic Converter reduce air pollution 100% ?

catalytic converter

While the catalytic converter is an outstanding device which helps reduce air pollution, it is still not able to cut off emission 100%, this simply means it doesn’t solve the issue of air pollution 100%. A catalytic converter is said to only be effective when it is warm (high temperature of 300°C/800°F or more is required), warming a catalytic converter could take up to 10 -15 minutes of driving. So if you are planning to travel to a new city, you should expect your car to release gaseous chemicals for some few minutes(10 – 15 minutes) before the catalytic converter will begin to work. Although in today’s age, the latest catalytic converters only takes 2-3 minutes to warm up.

 

Types of Catalytic Converters

catalytic converter

There are 2 types of the catalytic converter, which are namely:

1) The two-way converter:

This converter also known as ‘oxi-cat’ or ‘oxidation’ helps in converting carbon mono oxide to carbon dioxide and also helps to convert unburnt fuel to carbon dioxide and water.

2) The three-way converter:

The three-way type is a more advanced catalytic converter which does same thing which the two-way converter does, while also helping to reduce nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, which are both known as NOx(NOx is known to be one of the major cause of localized air pollution).

 

Do Diesel Engines Make Use of a Catalytic Converter?

In short words. Yes, they do. Although it operates differently for both diesel engines and gasoline engines. One of the major difference on how it works for diesel engines is that the diesel engines makes use of the two-way catalyst and not the three-way catalysts.

 

Who was the inventor of the catalytic converter ?

The world owes it’s thanks to French chemical engineer, Eugene Houdry, who was born in the year 1892 and died in the year 1962. He made the first catalytic converter in the year 1950.

 

Theft of Catalytic Converters

The rate of which this device is being stolen from cars is very high. This was after a report stated that there was a very high rate of catalytic converter theft back in the year, 2019. The reports also stated that the increase was 8 times larger than the previous year, 2018.

 

How much does it cost to replace if stolen ?

Replacing a stolen catalytic converter could cost you around $3,000 – $5,000.catalytic converter

 

How do I prevent my catalytic converter from being stolen?

Now since we already know how useful the catalytic converter is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise on why thieves find it very tempting. We can state 2 reasons of which thieves find it worth stealing, and these 2 reasons includes:

1) Stealing a catalytic converter is a very simple job and would take just few seconds of the thief’s time to steal it. 

2) It contains some precious metals which the thief could sell for $700 – $1,000 on the black market.

 

Below are few tips on how you can protect this device in your car.

 

1) Park your car near a fence or wall:

A thief can’t steal this device if you parked your car in such a way it prevents any access underneath, this is because the thief needs to slide under your vehicle in order to steal your converter. Parking your car near a wall or fence will help but be sure not to block pedestrian access. 

 

2) Purchase a catalytic converter that comes with a serial number:

Some companies mark this device in their inventory with a special serial number, which helps them easily track the converter if it gets stolen. They also provide stickers for their customers which they encourage their customers to ensure they put the sticker on their car window as it would prevent thieves from stealing their converter since it can be easily tracked.

 

3) Weld the bolts shut

Whenever you visit the garage, ask them to help weld your bolts shut, has it will help make it difficult for the thieves to steal.

 

4) Install an alarm in your car

This is a great way to prevent thieves because your car alarm will scare them off.

 

5) Park your cars in well lightened areas

Thieves wait for the perfect time to strike and if you parked your car in a place that is not well – lightened will increase the chances of you losing your converter, so ensure you park at a well – lightened and secured environment.

 

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