Cars have been on the spotlight as one of the largest contributors of the world to pollution. Due to the fact that all internal combustion engines produce emission gases that react negatively with the environment, world governments passed laws to regulate this.
Part of the result of this legislation is the requirement of the installation of catalytic converters in all vehicles.
What do catalytic converters do?
The function of a catalytic converter is to reduce the amount of toxic gases spewing into the atmosphere created by internal combustion engines.
It achieves this results by having the burnt gases from an engine interact with substances that will add or take away atoms from it to transform most of the exhaust gases into something less harmful.
Catalytic converters work only when at high temperatures in order to achieve a reaction with the gases and the material in the converter. Because of this catalytic converters are almost useless in the mornings when cars start cold and need to warm up on the road.
How do catalytic converters neutralize dangerous gases?
Within the catalytic converter, two ceramic layers are present, one to reduce and another to oxidize. These layers are then covered with a thin film of rare metal to get the reaction going at high temperature, usually platinum, rhodium and such.
Catalytic converters have the following reactions with emission gases:
-A reducing action, converting nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and oxygen.
-Oxidize carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide; and
-Oxidize unburnt hydrocarbons (partially burnt gas or diesel) to carbon dioxide and water.
Thus far, catalytic converters have been the most widely accepted pollution control device in cars. However, they are totally unnecessary with the recent maturity of alternative fuels such as hydrogen. Also, catalytic converters only work well under certain conditions.
Disadvantages of catalytic converters
Theft magnets. Catalytic converters cost a lot of money to manufacturer due to the rare metals needed to react with the emission gases. And they are easily stolen since they are just under the chassis. Black market converters can save a buyer a lot of money in buying originals.
Works best on a rich burn. Catalytic converters work best only when engines are running a RICH mixture! It’s like letting a fox in the hen house so you can have a chance to chase after it!
A majority of cars rolling off the factory are set to run at a “stochiometric” air-fuel balance of 14.7:1. This is not necessarily the best setting but the manufacturer’s setting. What most consumers are unaware of is that cars can run quite well on leaner mixtures of 50:1 or even 100:1 with additional cost-effective (cheap) supplementary and safe fuel additives.
So how can I make my car run on less gas and reduced emissions?
There are several ways to make your car run more efficiently AND cost effectively.
Service your car. Make sure you regularly have your car serviced and inspected as per the instructions on your owner’s manual.
Check tires. Check tires for pressure and alignment. You can save a lot of money just by making sure the tires are running at the recommended air pressure. Replace tires which are showing wear and tear for safety’s sake as well.
Unload unnecessities. Take off the car all items which you consider unnecessary.
Consider alternative fuels. You can use alternate fuels such as a hydrogen-on-demand (HOD) system to supplement. This system creates hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) gas on demand from a water medium to mix with the air and fuel in the combustion chamber for better performance.
What does a HOD system do?
Hydrogen when compressed an introduced to an internal combustion engine:
-Releases more energy than ethanol-based mixes, maintaining the overall power of the car
-Completely burns the fuel which gives cleaner emissions
-Raises the octane level of the fuel, preventing knocking, making the engine quieter
-Lowers overall engine temperature slightly
-Requires the engine to use less gas per cycle
-Mileage gains as low as 20% to as high as 70% on the average due to less fuel required by the engine
The results above totally reduces the need to replace the catalytic converter of your car during its life cycle as emissions are drastically reduced when hydrogen is mixed.
Is it safe?
HOD systems generate hydrogen only on demand and are therefore safe. When no electricity is routed through the HOD system, no reaction is generated. No hydrogen is in storage in this system but is kept in medium, which is basically water.
Parts are sourced from everyday parts found in hardware shops and basic electronics stores. Total cost for a basic unit can range between $70 to over $200 USD.
What’s offered by most HOD enterprises are plans for do-it-yourself systems, with offers to build the system for the consumer if they so wish. This way the customer can opt to build it himself or to buy a unit once the concept is understood after obtaining the plans to prevent fraud.