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Catalytic Converter: The Most Expensive Part of the Cars

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that is widely used to reduce the harmful emission of toxic gases and pollutants of the car. These converters use oxidation and reduction reactions to reduce the toxic gases; catalytic converter is basically used to clean the exhaust emissions of the cars by using chemical reactions with precious metals.

Why catalytic converter is invented?

In 1950, a French mechanical engineer named Eugene Hurdy had invented a catalytic converter and the prime motive of such invention was to clean up the harmful emissions of automobiles. Around 1975, the use of catalytic converter was at its peak as the government started using it to reduce the air pollution due to cars; the vehicle which was highly in use that time was leaded gasoline lead (Pb), which helps the converter to perform properly.

Working Procedure of Catalytic Converter

Inside the cars, the catalytic converter is attached to an exhaust pipe, it is a metal casing that contains a honeycomb that is coated with platinum (Pt), rhodium (Rh), and palladium (Pd), these metals are good to combat corrosion, oxidants, and acid. They are capable of soaking all the bad weather and the harmful chemical liberated by the car’s engine.

These noble metals act as catalysts, catalyst is basically a compound that can create a chemical reaction without any noticeable changes in them. The ceramic honeycomb inside the converter expands the surface area so that the reaction can take place.

Fun Facts about the Catalytic Converter

  •         The main purpose of the catalytic converter is to minimize the emission of the harmful gases of the cars which are generated by the hydrocarbon-based fossil fuels in car

  •         Catalytic converter decreases the emission of hydrocarbon by 87%

  •         Catalytic converter decreases the emission of carbon monoxide by 85%

  •         Catalytic converter decreases the emission of nitrous oxide by 62%

  •         Cars having catalytic converters installed in them can be a bit more expensive as compared to the cars that don’t have a converter

  •         The fuel efficiency of the cars will be decreased due to the catalytic converters, and the rise in the price of the gases can cost more to the consumers

  •         According to the reports, it is mandatory for all cars in the US to have catalytic converters, or else it will be considered as a crime if any car is found without a catalytic converter in it.

Is Removing a Catalytic Converter from the car is a Good Idea?

There are many debates among the people who are against removing the converter and the people who are in favor of removing the catalytic converter. There are many advantages of removing the converter from the cars that include an increase in horsepower, a better exhaust sound, more options for fuels, the workload of the engines gets decreased, better mileage.

Catalytic converters are the most expensive part of the cars and hence once broken, it will take a whole lot of money to repair which can also be considered as the benefits of removing the converter.


However, Catalytic converters are designed to change the harmful substances in the car that includes hydrocarbons, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide into less harmful substances that includes water vapor and carbon dioxide.

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