What Are Three Way Catalytic Converters and How Do They Work?

A catalytic converter is an essential part of your engine that removes harmful emissions. It reduces carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides for cleaner engine operation.

Two-way catalytic converters (used on American and Canadian vehicles until 1981) convert carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and excess oxygen into carbon dioxide and water while three-way converters add reduction catalysts that change nitrogen oxides into oxygen gasses.

They Reduce Nitrogen Oxides

Nitrogen oxides are harmful as they contribute to smog and acid rain. They’re produced when fossil fuels burn in vehicle engines; using a Three Way Catalytic Converter converts them back to nitrogen and water for disposal.

Our Three Way Catalytic Converters feature precious Platinum-Rhodium metal coatings that have been meticulously dispersed over a high porosity washcoat and metallic alloy core for maximum pollution conversion efficiencies.

Two major functions of the catalyst include oxidizing hydrocarbons and reducing nitrogen oxides. It functions best within a narrow band of air/fuel ratios nearing its stoichiometric point; otherwise, conversion efficiency quickly drops off.

Three way catalytic converters used on gasoline engines typically employ a honeycomb substrate coated with rhodium to convert NOx emissions to nitrogen and oxygen emissions, while diesel and lean-burn engines require three way converters in order to oxidize carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter emissions.

They Reduce Carbon Monoxide

As one of the most hazardous emissions released by engines, NOx gas can pose significant health hazards and decrease engine efficiency over time. A three way catalytic converter is an excellent way of neutralizing this dangerous emission by combining it with oxygen to convert into carbon dioxide and water for processing by the body.

Two-way converters only oxidize carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons; they cannot reduce nitrogen oxides. A three-way converter has both an NOx reduction zone that uses platinum and rhodium, as well as an HC and CO oxidation area equipped with palladium and gold to keep NOx levels to an acceptable level; its three-way configuration also boasts an oxidation zone using palladium and gold that works to eliminate these emissions.

Precise closed-loop fuel control is vital to the operation of three-way converters. An oxygen sensor monitors air/fuel ratios to ensure they stay near stoichiometry and any system failing to provide accurate feedback signals could result in overheating or loss of effectiveness of catalytic converters. Three-way catalytic converters without air tubes use advanced catalyst chemistry combined with O2 monitoring and control systems in tandem to oscillate fuel mixture between lean and rich conditions for maximum effectiveness.

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They Reduce Hydrocarbons

Catalytic converters help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning to humans and acid rain formation by binding with oxygen and being converted to carbon dioxide and water, which in turn provides relief.

Three-way catalysts perform at their optimal when engine air-fuel ratios are close to stoichiometry. If it deviates beyond this range, not enough oxygen is available for the reductive reactions, leading to increased NOx emissions and emissions spikes.

A three-way catalytic converter is an integral component in meeting modern emission standards for vehicles, without it most vehicles would not meet them. Our three way catalytic converters are suitable for applications ranging from lawnmowers and commercial/garden mowers, pressure washers, construction/industrial engines and generator engines – to standardization and organized warehousing for short delivery times for both series products and custom orders from APROVIS’ sales, engineering, manufacturing teams who possess all of the expertise needed to meet your demands.

They Reduce Particulates

Millions of cars on the roads produce pollution at an alarming rate, prompting cities, states and the federal government to institute clean air laws limiting how much of it each car produces. An important component that helps mitigate pollution levels in vehicles is known as a Three Way Catalytic Converter.

A three way converter is designed to oxidize carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, convert hydrocarbons to water vapor and reduce oxides of nitrogen into simple nitrogen. Furthermore, this device also scrubs diesel exhaust for particulates.

Platinum-rhodium precious metal coating and washcoat is evenly dispersed on a metallic alloy core to facilitate high efficiency non selective catalytic reactions with very low emissions. A cerium oxide carrier material was specially developed to store oxygen during lean conditions before returning it back into flow during rich conditions, thus increasing the optimal air/fuel ratio window within which this catalyst operates.

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