The catalytic converter (sometimes “cat” or “catcon”) is part of your emissions system, but doesn’t have a role in actually expelling the emissions. No, instead the catalytic converter serves its role by reducing the toxicity of the gases as they leave the vehicle.
The catalytic converter does this through a chemical reaction that is triggered by the gases merely coming into contact with the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter’s core is made out of some sort of precious metal, such as platinum, palladium, rhodium, or gold (as an unfortunate side effect of this, catalytic converters are often targeted by thieves because of the precious metal content and because of their external location; they are both valuable and easy to steal). Platinum is the most widely used of these, but is sometimes avoided due to unwanted additional chemical reactions. Other less commonly used metals include cerium, iron, manganese, and nickel.
Catalytic converters are a required part of an automobile. This is because they are vital in reducing the pollution caused by an automobile. One car without a catalytic converter wouldn’t be too bad, but if you multiplied that by thousands or millions, the resultant pollution would be overwhelming. The major failing of the catalytic converter is that it is unable to eliminate carbon dioxide, which is produced when fossil fuels are burned. Carbon dioxide is generally regarded as the major cause behind global warming.
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