A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction). Catalytic converters are usually used with internal combustion engines fueled by either gasoline or diesel—including lean-burn engines as well as kerosene heaters and stoves.
The first widespread introduction of catalytic converters was in the United States automobile market. To comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s stricter regulation of exhaust emissions, most gasoline-powered vehicles starting with the 1975 model year must be equipped with catalytic converters. These “two-way” converters combine oxygen with carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (CₙHₙ) to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). In 1981, two-way catalytic converters were rendered obsolete by “three-way” converters that also reduce oxides of nitrogen (NO
x); however, two-way converters are still used for lean-burn engines. This is because three-way-converters require either rich or stoichiometric combustion to successfully reduce NO
Although catalytic converters are most commonly applied to exhaust systems in automobiles, they are also used on electrical generators, forklifts, mining equipment, trucks, buses, locomotives, and motorcycles. They are also used on some wood stoves to control emissions. This is usually in response to government regulation, either through direct environmental regulation or through health and safety regulations.
Catalytic converter prototypes were first designed in France at the end of the 19th century, when only a few thousand “oil cars” were on the roads; it was constituted of an inert material coated with platinum, iridium, and palladium, sealed into a double metallic cylinder.
A few decades later, a catalytic converter was patented by Eugene Houdry, a French mechanical engineer and expert in catalytic oil refining, who moved to the United States in 1930. When the results of early studies of smog in Los Angeles were published, Houdry became concerned about the role of smokestack exhaust and automobile exhaust in air pollution and founded a company called Oxy-Catalyst. Houdry first developed catalytic converters for smokestacks called “cats” for short, and later developed catalytic converters for warehouse forklifts that used low grade, unleaded gasoline. In the mid-1950s, he began research to develop catalytic converters for gasoline engines used on cars. He was awarded United States Patent 2,742,437 for his work.
Widespread adoption of catalytic converters did not occur until more stringent emission control regulations forced the removal of the antiknock agent tetraethyl lead from most types of gasoline. Lead is a catalyst poison and would effectively disable a catalytic converter by forming a coating on the catalyst’s surface.
Catalytic converters were further developed by a series of engineers including Carl D. Keith, John J. Mooney, Antonio Eleazar, and Phillip Messina at Engelhard Corporation, creating the first production catalytic converter in 1973.
BUYER AND RECYCLER OF CATALYTIC CONVERTERS
Ecotrade is a leading authorized purchaser of spent catalytic converters and we have been recycling catalytic converters for over the last 15 years. Thus, we have built up a huge database of knowledge from which we have developed a comprehensive catalogue that lists more than 15000 items, and increasing almost daily. Specifically designed to enable you to easily identify, in real time, the price for scrap cats and, always, the price you see is today’s price – we monitor the market prices for all precious metals and adjust the cat prices accordingly. In conjunction with this catalogue, which is constantly updated to reflect market prices, our experienced and conscientious purchasers personally visit premises to sort and assess the worth of used catalysts. This ensures that the buying process is transparent, honest and fair. We are always available 24/7 and no order is too small – although, of course, there are financial benefits associated with larger quantities. A personal quotation can be provided and, once prices have been agreed, we will organize collection. We guarantee, as well, speedy and full payment for the agreed value. For large quantities, we offer toll refining using our state of art sampling process. We are renowned for our efficiency, friendliness and sense of fair play and we believe passionately in providing first class customer service, unequaled in our industry.
We have also developed the most advanced mobile app to identify catalytic converters through their features (codes, pictures, brands, ..) . Through this online catalytic converter price book, which comes with over 10,000 color pictures, you can conveniently look up the value of scrap catalytic converters either by car brand or catalytic converter manufacturers.