A catalytic converter is a device used to control car emissions. The catalytic converter functions by catalyzing a redox reaction.
This means that it organizes and speeds up chemical reactions, transforming toxic gases and pollutants into less-toxic forms before they leave the vehicle. Catalytic converters are commonly paired with internal combustion engines running on both petrol and diesel fuels.
Although many variants exist, most catalytic converters are either “two-way” or “three-way”. The first option combines oxygen, carbon monoxide (CO), and leftover hydrocarbons (HC – present due to incomplete combustion). Through a series of reactions, those pollutants are transformed into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water.
Of course, CO2 is a greenhouse gas which is damaging to the environment, however, it is a much safer than carbon monoxide. Three-way catalytic converters have an extra reaction that reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) into cleaner gases.
Bad catalytic converter
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