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History and performance features of a catalytic converter


A catalytic converter is a sensitive element of the vehicle exhaust system. Its performance depends on temperature, quality of fuel and oil, engine operation. Screen Shot 2021-06-10 at 10.50.39The catalytic converter fails due to wear. It is also unable to perform its functions due to clogging, as well as due to mechanical damage.

A broken converter can be scrapped. Recycling catalysts for the recovery of precious metals is a service in demand. If a catalytic converter is out of order, contact AutoCatalyst Market China, a professional auto parts supplier.

How catalytic converters impact environmental protection

Catalytic converters have been widely used since 1975. Although they were invented much earlier by Eugene Houdry, an American mechanical engineer. The invention of this part was triggered by environmental reports that the engineer had read. This talented American decided to design a device that could protect the air from toxic exhaust emissions.

The lack of relevant laws became an obstacle to the mass production of catalytic converters. Their time for the industrial-scale production and installation on vehicles came only after the relevant amendments had been made to the Air Quality Law stipulating the prohibition of lead.

The fact is that lead compounds that are present in the exhaust gas caused the melting of the ceramic converter honeycombs. As a result, the catalytic converter was clogged within a short period of time. Later, a metal version of the converter was invented; it is more expensive, but also more durable when compared with the ceramic one.

After the prohibition of using lead petrol for refueling, the converter's service life has increased. But, there are still factors today that have a great impact on the converter's performance, including the following:

  • Precious materials in the converter are used out over time. If the engine operates properly, the service life of this element does not exceed 60,000-90,000 miles.

  • The converter efficiency decreases with mileage, as it becomes contaminated inside with tar and carbon deposits.

  • The risk of early clogging grows when engine oil consumption increases. Particles of unburned fuel and oil remain on the honeycomb surface and form a soot deposit.

Screen Shot 2021-06-10 at 10.51.05Is it possible to breathe new life into a clogged converter?

Gas passage reduces when the honeycombs become contaminated, which, in turn, reduces the engine power. If the catalytic converter clogging is in the beginning stage, it can still be cleaned with alkaline flushes that will remove contamination. But how effective such cleaning will be is anybody's guess. Cleaning agents can help slightly extend the converter’s service life, but in any case, after a certain mileage, it has to be removed, thus installation of a new one will be required.

Special attention should be given to the vehicle engine if the catalytic converter is ceramic. The fact is that while it is deteriorating, ceramic particles can get into the engine. During the engine scavenging, fuel is chocked from the exhaust ducts into the combustion chambers. It will result in the ingress of ceramic dust into the cylinders and, thus, abrasive wear.