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Three-way Catalytic Converters in Car Exhaust Systems

The exhaust component of the engine is very harmful to humans and the environment, and the most serious harmful substances are HC, CO, and NOx. In order to meet the increasingly stringent emission regulations, three-way catalytic converters are installed on the engine. The main role is to effectively handle exhaust, and three major harmful substances HC, CO, and NOX in the exhaust gas are harmless H2O, CO2, N2, O2, the catalytic converter is also referred to as a “triple” catalyst.

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Installation Location of Three-way Catalytic Converters:

The three-way catalytic converters are located between the engine exhaust manifold and the muffler. In order to prevent the three-way catalytic converter from breaking due to collisions, the three-way catalytic converters are directly connected to the exhaust manifold or integrated with the exhaust manifold, so that it is located on the side of the engine.

working Principle:

Only when the air-fuel ratio is continuously rich and lean in the interval of 14.7:1 up and down 0.3%, can the three-way catalyst exert the best catalytic effect, and the conversion efficiency can reach more than 90%. When the mixture is rich, the content of HC and CO will increase, which will reduce the conversion efficiency; when the mixture is lean, the NOx displacement will increase and the conversion efficiency will also decrease.

three way catalytic converters in car exhaust systems
The temperature is an important working condition for the three-way catalytic converter to exert its catalytic conversion efficiency. The temperature at which the three-way catalytic converters in car exhaust systems start to work is about 260°C. The catalytic ability that can be exerted at this temperature is about 50%. The temperature at which the conversion efficiency exceeds 50% is usually called the catalytic converter light-off temperature. The temperature of the catalyst is in the range of 246~301℃. As the temperature increases, the catalytic conversion efficiency increases rapidly. When the temperature is between 480°C and 870°C, the three-way catalytic converter will be fully functional. If the temperature is too high (over 950°C), it will accelerate the aging of the three-way catalyst, weaken the catalytic effect and shorten the life span.