For some decades of years now, the problem of environmental pollution is continuously growing and becoming more harmful and destructive especially our problem of air pollution and that, automobiles contribute the biggest percentage of this problem. Due to the growing number of automobiles in almost all part of the world, harmful emissions are also growing hand and hand with it. That is why the need of finding new technologies on how these problems will be addressed requires some urgency.
Usual chemicals emitted by the automobiles during the combustion process and gasoline vaporization are the hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen which are very harmful once they mix up with the atmosphere. Several laws, rules and regulations such as clean air act of 1977 were already passed to deal with this worsening crisis. On the manufacturer's part, coming up with several control devices and the creation of a self adjusting engine are their answers to the call for the said air pollution problem.
Among the popular emission control devices installed on the automobiles are the EGR valve, air pump, PCV valve, charcoal canister and the catalytic converter. Catalytic converters such as the Volkswagen catalytic converter is a device responsible for providing an environment for a chemical reaction where unburned chemicals takes its final combustion using platinum and rhodium as catalysts. Automotive emissions are controlled in three ways and these are: to promote more complete combustion to lessen by-products, to reintroduce excessive hydrocarbons back into the engine for combustion, and to provide an additional area for oxidation or combustion to occur, and all of these recognized by the catalytic converters.
Catalytic converters looks like mufflers, and are located in the exhaust system just ahead of the latter. Inside the converters are pellets or a honeycomb made of platinum or palladium which is used as catalysts that speed up chemical process. When the chemicals mix up with the catalysts, harmful substances are turned into less harmful ones. This process makes the exhaust dirty and the dirtier it gets, the hotter it gets thus making the exhaust susceptible to self-destruction.