Understanding Your Exhaust System, or Why You Should Love Your Catalytic Converter

Millions of cars on the road mean a ton of gases released into the air that can be harmful to the air and the environment. In order to preserve the air quality and our environment in America, our local and national government has implemented laws and regulations on how much pollution a car can produce.

Car manufacturers have stayed up-to-date with regulations and devised new ways to reduce the amount of pollution and increase fuel efficiency. One of the ways that they do this is with a catalytic converter.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

To comply with local and federal pollution regulations, the catalytic converter was invented in 1975. Every engine creates a host of pollutants during its conversion of liquid fuel to speed. Basically, this device converts harmful pollutants that are released by your car into acceptable emissions before it leaves the exhaust system, keeping our air cleaner and our environment safer while improving overall performance.

What Gases does it Prevent from Releasing?

While your engine is running, car manufacturers have attempted to balance the ideal ratio of air to fuel for maximum performance. When everything in your engine is working correctly, it emits:

    • Nitrogen gases
    • Carbon monoxide
    • Nitrogen oxides
    • Water vapor
    • Carbon dioxide
    • Hydrocarbons

The gases, such as water vapor and most nitrogen gases do not affect the environment or air pollution levels as much as the others. The main function of the converter is to reduce the levels of carbon monoxide (which is poisonous), hydrocarbons (which create smog) and nitrogen oxides (which contribute to smog and acid rain) from getting out of the exhaust system.

How Does it Work?

Simply put, the catalytic converter provides a safe area where the harmful gasses can be broken down into simpler, less dangerous gases. For example, the material that the converter is made of (sometimes gold, for instance) acts as a catalyst to the gas, causing it to react a certain way when it comes into contact, producing a new molecular compound.

Good for the Environment

Catalytic converters are great for the environment and for the overall performance of your car because of the reduced negative emissions it creates. To keep your car and your car maintenance eco-friendly, come to Quanz for your regularly scheduled maintenance service.