A Non-Rhodium Three-Way Catalyst for Automotive Applications 920094
Three-way catalysts (TWC) to remove the HC, CO, and NOx pollutants from the exhaust of gasoline powered vehicles employ rhodium in combination with platinum and palladium. Of these precious metals, rhodium is by far the most expensive. Since it is so heavily used for its NOx reduction capabilities, the amount per vehicle approaches and sometimes exceeds the naturally occurring mine ratio.
A program was conducted to determine the feasibility of a non-rhodium TWC catalyst. It showed that Pt and Pd in conjunction with other washcoat support materials exhibited relatively good TWC characteristics compared to a Pt/Rh catalyst after engine dynamometer aging. In FTP evaluations this new REDOX type catalyst gave comparable HC and CO efficiency and 85% of the NOx efficiency of a Pt/Rh-containing catalyst. Presently the operating window is being defined but comparisons to conventional Pt/Pd and Pt/Rh catalysts have been made under a number of conditions. Results of these tests, as well as how this technology might be applied to current and future automobile systems to lower rhodium usage, will be discussed.