What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is a device that chemically converts harmful engine exhaust emissions into carbon dioxide and water. 

The converter was developed in the 1960’s to meet stringent new emission legislation, initially in America, followed by the rest of the world. Since 1975 all vehicle manufacturers have used catalytic converters, and other emission control devices, to meet the required reduced emission levels.

How does a catalytic converter work?
In a catalytic converter, the catalyst (in the form of platinum and palladium) is coated onto a ceramic honeycomb or ceramic beads that are housed in a muffler-like package attached to the exhaust pipe. The catalyst helps to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. It converts the hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water. It also converts the nitrogen oxides back into nitrogen and oxygen.

 

Catalytic converter