Catalytic Converters: Understanding Your Replacement Options

The exhaust system in a vehicle is designed to eliminate reaction fumes from the engine's combustion chamber. This critical module is made up of different components which contribute to ensuring that the exhaust release is effective. One of the important elements in the system is the catalytic converter. This is a device fabricated to control the effect of auto emissions on the environment. In simple terms, the component is designed to convert the toxic fumes produced in the engine into less noxious alternatives, before releasing them to the environment. It is important for you to understand the catalytic converters in the modern market. This will help you select the most ideal replacement product for your exhaust system. Here are the primary types of catalytic converters to consider purchasing and installing in your vehicle.

Oxidation Converter

An oxidation catalytic converter is also known as a two-way device, and it is designed to function by using oxidation reactions. This type of converter is the traditional emissions control component in old vehicles, and it can carry out two simultaneous tasks. First, the device will convert toxic carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide by adding oxygen. Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas which will poison the red blood cells and limit the transport of oxygen.

The inhalation of the gas can cause serious illness or even fatalities. Secondly, the catalytic converter oxidises hydrocarbons to water and carbon dioxide. The term hydrocarbon refers to unburnt fuel components which can harm you and the environment. Unfortunately, this catalytic converter cannot control oxides of nitrogen which are produced during combustion. Therefore, it is not the best choice for petrol engines which produce a lot of nitrous oxides.

Three-Way Converter

The three-way converter is an ideal choice for your vehicle because it can deal with the different exhaust gases produced. Basically, it will perform the functions of an oxidation catalytic converter by oxidising the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. In addition, this device will oxidise the oxides of nitrogen by causing these emissions to react with oxygen. The resulting products will be nitrogen and oxygen which are natural components of air. You should note that the three-way converter is valuable because nitrogen oxides cause ozone depletion and are precursors to harmful acid rain.

Three-Way Air-Injection Converter

The three-way air injection converter functions in a similar way as the conventional three-way alternative. However, this device is more efficient because it allows oxygen to be fed into the exhaust system. The extra oxygen will facilitate better conversion of toxic fumes to harmless gases.