One of the most important components in a vehicle for controlling exhaust emission is the catalytic converter. Even though this is common knowledge, there has been little to no progress on improving the design, with the most recent change occurring in the 1940’s.
The new catalytic converter prototype, designed by Dr. Benjamin Kingsbury, has been touted to reduce fuel consumption and reduce the amount of CO2 each vehicle emits. Not only that, but the design uses up to 80 percent less rare metal, greatly reduction the total cost of these converters, and potentially the car itself.
While a conventional converter takes the shape of a ceramic block, with honeycombed microscopic channels coated in rare metals (usually platinum), Dr. Kingsbury’s design has advanced the existing manufacturing process by improving the structure of the microscopic channels, increasing the surface area, and enabling the rare metal to be distributed more effectively.
The increased surface area also makes the catalytic converter’s chemical reaction process more efficient.
The new design of the device increases fuel efficiency because it prevents ‘back pressure’, which is a build up of gases that can make the engine work harder, affecting its performance.
Dr. Kingsbury established an Imperial start-up company in December 2013 to market the prototype device. A key next step is to develop a production process for mass manufacturing.
Source: Press Release