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A catalytic converter is a device used to convert toxic exhaust emissions from an internal combustion engine into non-toxic substances. Inside a catalytic converter, a catalyst stimulates a chemical reaction in which noxious byproducts of combustion undergo a chemical reaction. The type of chemical reaction varies depending upon the type of catalyst installed. The catalyst itself is most often a precious metal. Platinum is the most active catalyst and is widely used, but is not suitable for all applications because of unwanted additional reactions and high cost. Platinum is used both for reduction and oxidation. TWO-WAY: A two-way (or "oxidation") catalytic converter has two simultaneous tasks: 1. Oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide: 2CO + O2 2CO2. 2. Oxidation of hydrocarbons (UN burnt and partially-burnt fuel) to carbon dioxide and water. Because of their inability to control oxides of nitrogen, they were superseded by three-way converters. THREE-WAY: The additional reaction is

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1. Reduction of nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and oxygen: 2NOx xO2 + N2

These three reactions occur most efficiently when the catalytic converter receives exhaust from an engine running slightly above the stoichiometric point. This point is between 14.6 and 14.8 parts air to 1 part fuel, by weight, for gasoline. Unwanted reactions Unwanted reactions can occur in the three-way catalyst, such as the formation of odiferous hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. It is difficult to eliminate these byproducts entirely. Sulfur-free or low-sulfur fuels eliminate or reduce hydrogen sulfide. REMEDIES: When control of hydrogen-sulfide emissions is desired, nickel or manganese is added to the wash coat. Both substances act to block the adsorption of sulfur by the wash coat. Hydrogen sulfide is formed when the wash coat has adsorbed sulfur during a low temperature part of the operating cycle, which is then released during the hightemperature part of the cycle and the sulfur combines with HC. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: The requirement for an internal combustion engine equipped with a three-way catalyst to run at the stoichiometric point means it is less efficient than if it were operated lean. Carbon dioxide produced from fossil fuels is one of the greenhouse gases indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to be a "most likely" cause of global warming. APPLICATION OF NANOTECHNOLOGY MATERIAL PROPERTIES IN CATALYTIC CONVERTER: The key development is to coat platinum nanoparticles with a porous silica layer. Because of its weak interaction with the platinum, the silica coating provides an energy barrier that holds the platinum in place even at very high temperatures, preventing aggregation and maintaining catalytic activity. The first step in making the new system is to load titanium dioxide nanofibers with platinum nanoparticles. This support makes the platinum catalyst more active by providing additional electrons for some of the detoxifying reactions. The loaded fibers are then coated with silica containing an organic pore-generating agent, which was then removed by heating to 350 degrees C to create porous sheaths. The new design loads platinum nanoparticles onto nanofirbers and then coats the nanoparticles with silica and an organic pore-generating compound that can be removed by gentle heating. The porous sheath allows gases to reach the platinum, but prevents the particles from aggregating.

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Its very tricky to make this kind of coating thin enough and porous enough so you dont really affect the activity of the platinum catalyst. So thats a major development, Xia says.

Experiments then showed that the silica-coated platinum maintained its catalytic ability at much higher temperatures than uncoated platinum, which began to aggregate at temperatures as low as 350 degrees C. It looks like we can run these up to 750 degrees without any significant agglomeration, says Xia. The typical temperature for a catalytic converter is about 550 degrees C, so in that sense, it should be able to last for a longer time. [1] Platinum is so expensive, Xia says, the converters are sometimes stolen and it is economic to recycle old ones to recover the precious metal. The goal of his research, however, is to use much less platinum, so cars cost less and more of the metal is available for other uses. NANOPARTICLES FOR CATALYTIC CONVERTERS: Using nano of the precious metals instead of larger particles, less metal is needed to produce the same surface area over the ceramic base of the catalyst. The nano particle studded ceramic sphere to cut the use of platinum group metals in catalytic converter. Using japans Mazda motor corp. is using nano technology to deliver what it says is a new generation of catalytic converters that use 70-90% less of the precious metals which help to purify exhaust emissions. The converters use nano particles of the catalytic metal less than five nano meters, studded onto the surface of tiny ceramic spheres. [2] ADVANTAGES: (1) Titanium dioxide nano fiber can withstand temperatures above 500 degrees C which is higher than the conventional catalytic converter. (2) Silica coated platinum maintains its catalytic ability at much higher temperatures than uncoated platinum. (3) Recycling of platinum reduces the cost of the automobile. (4) Converter mechanical properties can be increased i.e.; stiffness , elasticity strength etc; (5) Efficiency will be increased up to 95% which is greater than conventional. (6) This principle can also be applied in industries to reduce the toxic substances released from the chimney. DISADVANTAGES:

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(1) Cost of manufacturing is relatively high. (2) Unit production is not suggestible for this.

CONCLUSION: We can concluded that by using nano technology material properties we can increase the converter efficiency and can reduce the toxic emissions in the exhaust gas effectively . There by we can control the green house effect. REFERENCE: 1. 2.

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