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Author Topic: What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?  (Read 5480 times)

Offline Geezer

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OK - so I really meant catalytic, but please read on.

Everyone knows catalytic converters are good. They must be, because they convert all those nasty unburned hydrocarbons into pleasant things like, for instance, CO2.

"Wait just a cotton-pickin-minute Geezer." you might say "Isn't CO2 one of them dang greenhouse gasses?"

Er, well, actually it is. But it does not produce smog which is really nasty.

"Yes, but I don't happen to live in Los Angeles" you might say, "Smog is your problem. CO2 is a global problem."


And, did you know that automobile engines will actually consume less fuel and therefore produce less CO2 if they don't have a catalytic converter?

Perhaps cataclysmic is a better term (he said, quickly retiring to his underground bunker)


 

Offline RD

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #1 on: 17/09/2009 23:20:31 »
Q. What have catalytic converters done for the environment?
A. As they use platinum they make cars considerably more expensive, so people are less likely to buy a car.  :)
 

Offline Geezer

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #2 on: 17/09/2009 23:51:29 »
...and paladium too (if my memory has not quite crapped out yet)

Maybe this thread should be relocated to "Environment". Beats me!  :D
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #3 on: 18/09/2009 06:52:32 »
The unburned fuel form an engine without a cat. is a greenhouse gas too.
 

Offline Don_1

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #4 on: 18/09/2009 07:16:07 »
Like so many 'environmentally friendly' ideas, catalytic converters come at a price. I often wonder if the cost outweighs the benefits.

I'm all for protecting the environment, but I think much of what is being done to this end is purely cosmetic.
 

Offline graham.d

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #5 on: 18/09/2009 09:14:29 »
As far as I know catalytic converters are primarily to remove the nasty things that are likely to shorten your life when you breathe them in. Their introduction preceded public concern about global warming. Places like LA and London are hugely better as a result of the use of these devices. They are relatively expensive but probably less than features like electric windows, heated seats, a car radio/CD player and hosts of other unnecessary luxuries that come as standard nowadays. It is a shame, but sometimes legislation is needed for the benefit of all because many people will not do things for the public good if it costs money - at least not without significant peer pressure - and are easily swayed by dubious arguments to the contrary as to why such a step is unnecessary.

Although they caused a worse fuel consumption when first introduced, I suspect that with a properly designed exhaust system the effect will be minimal. Perhaps we should remove the legislation on having silencers (mufflers) which can also damage fuel consumption :-)

Actually as the catalytic converter removes more energy from the remainder of unburnt hydrocarbons and CO in the exhaust, does anyone know of any system that makes good use of the heat generated?
 

Offline Geezer

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #6 on: 18/09/2009 17:29:00 »
As far as I know catalytic converters are primarily to remove the nasty things that are likely to shorten your life when you breathe them in. Their introduction preceded public concern about global warming. Places like LA and London are hugely better as a result of the use of these devices. They are relatively expensive but probably less than features like electric windows, heated seats, a car radio/CD player and hosts of other unnecessary luxuries that come as standard nowadays. It is a shame, but sometimes legislation is needed for the benefit of all because many people will not do things for the public good if it costs money - at least not without significant peer pressure - and are easily swayed by dubious arguments to the contrary as to why such a step is unnecessary.

Although they caused a worse fuel consumption when first introduced, I suspect that with a properly designed exhaust system the effect will be minimal. Perhaps we should remove the legislation on having silencers (mufflers) which can also damage fuel consumption :-)

Actually as the catalytic converter removes more energy from the remainder of unburnt hydrocarbons and CO in the exhaust, does anyone know of any system that makes good use of the heat generated?

One of the problems with CCs is that they require a richer fuel/air ratio than it is possible to achieve otherwise, so, in a sense, the CC is always being fed fuel, and I don't think there is anything that can be done to address that. That's really my main point. There is no doubt that CCs do reduce local pollution significantly, but I would be interested to see the net greenhouse effect with and without CCs. Everything comes at a price and sometimes the price is higher than we think - I'm not saying it is, I would just like to know.

Re heat recovery - Yes. BMW has a steam engine that runs off exhaust heat.
 

Offline neilep

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #7 on: 18/09/2009 17:40:10 »
Q. What have catalytic converters done for the environment?
A. As they use platinum they make cars considerably more expensive, so people are less likely to buy a car.  :)

The upside of this, is that because not many people have been buying cars for the last year or so, Platinum has dropped in price dramatically. If ewe invest in that kind of thing then now's a good time to buy it !....which is nice !
 

Offline Geezer

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #8 on: 18/09/2009 17:57:13 »
Q. What have catalytic converters done for the environment?
A. As they use platinum they make cars considerably more expensive, so people are less likely to buy a car.  :)

The upside of this, is that because not many people have been buying cars for the last year or so, Platinum has dropped in price dramatically. If ewe invest in that kind of thing then now's a good time to buy it !....which is nice !

Ewoooooooooooo. Good idea. Please send lots of quids and I'll invest them in platinum for you.

Bernard Madoff Enterprises, Inc.
C/O Federal Penitentiary

 

Offline neilep

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #9 on: 18/09/2009 19:59:53 »
Q. What have catalytic converters done for the environment?
A. As they use platinum they make cars considerably more expensive, so people are less likely to buy a car.  :)

The upside of this, is that because not many people have been buying cars for the last year or so, Platinum has dropped in price dramatically. If ewe invest in that kind of thing then now's a good time to buy it !....which is nice !

Ewoooooooooooo. Good idea. Please send lots of quids and I'll invest them in platinum for you.

Bernard Madoff Enterprises, Inc.
C/O Federal Penitentiary



As a sheepy (like Royalty) I of course don't carry quids around,

So, I have today dispatched this suitcase of squids instead !


A Suitcase Of Squids On It's Way To the Clan McGeezer Earlier Today



 

Offline Geezer

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #10 on: 18/09/2009 20:11:28 »
Q. What have catalytic converters done for the environment?
A. As they use platinum they make cars considerably more expensive, so people are less likely to buy a car.  :)

The upside of this, is that because not many people have been buying cars for the last year or so, Platinum has dropped in price dramatically. If ewe invest in that kind of thing then now's a good time to buy it !....which is nice !

Ewoooooooooooo. Good idea. Please send lots of quids and I'll invest them in platinum for you.

Bernard Madoff Enterprises, Inc.
C/O Federal Penitentiary



As a sheepy (like Royalty) I of course don't carry quids around,

So, I have today dispatched this suitcase of squids instead !


A Suitcase Of Squids On It's Way To the Clan McGeezer Earlier Today


Yummo! We only get squids twice a week in the "pen". How about sending some caviar too? They only give us that once a month.
 

Offline LeeE

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #11 on: 18/09/2009 21:00:07 »
As far as I know catalytic converters are primarily to remove the nasty things that are likely to shorten your life when you breathe them in.

I believe their introduction is linked to the removal of lead in petrol.  It wasn't simply possible to remove the lead from petrol without adding something else in its place, and it's to deal with these 'new' additives that the Cats were introduced.  Basically, the choice seems to have come down to either continue going slowly bonkers, due to the lead, or get Cancer, due to the new additives.
 

Offline Geezer

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #12 on: 19/09/2009 01:05:45 »
As far as I know catalytic converters are primarily to remove the nasty things that are likely to shorten your life when you breathe them in.

I believe their introduction is linked to the removal of lead in petrol.  It wasn't simply possible to remove the lead from petrol without adding something else in its place, and it's to deal with these 'new' additives that the Cats were introduced.  Basically, the choice seems to have come down to either continue going slowly bonkers, due to the lead, or get Cancer, due to the new additives.
Sort of more the other way round. You can't use leaded petrol with a CC. Lead "poisons" the catalyst. In the US that may have been a greater motivation for eliminating lead than the environmental hazard it creates. Bit of a chicken and egg situation.
« Last Edit: 19/09/2009 01:15:47 by Geezer »
 

Offline Geezer

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #13 on: 19/09/2009 02:59:34 »
Re. Unleaded Petrol.

On my first trip to the US I hired a car. When I went to fill it with petrol, I had a heck of a time getting the pump nozzle to go into the filler. Stupid thing just would not go in. "What kind of a country is this?" I said to myself. Don't they have any standards? I actually had to hold the nozzle against the aperture in the filler and aim the petrol into the tank. What a PITA.

Shortly thereafter I discovered that vehicles with catalytic converters have a reduced diameter filler so that you can only fill them with unleaded petrol using a reduced diameter nozzle at an unleaded pump. Woops! I probably killed that CC. I better not divulge the name of the rental company in case they are still looking for me. [:I]
 

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What have cataclysmic converters done for the environment?
« Reply #13 on: 19/09/2009 02:59:34 »

 

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