1993-04-01

Catalytic Converter Preheating by Using a Chemical Reaction 931086

This paper explores a method to preheat an automobile catalytic converter using the energy released by a simple exothermic chemical reaction. Because a large percent of automobile use is for short distances and because catalytic converters are very inefficient before they are heated to operating temperature, it is becoming more imperative that converters be preheated before engine startup. Major R and D efforts by many companies have made significant advances in converter preheating using a variety of methods including electric, flame, location, thermal battery, etc. While offering major improvements, each of these methods also has its limitations. The method suggested in this paper is totally unique from these others. A chemical reaction is initiated internally within the catalytic converter when the engine ignition switch is turned on. By the time the engine is then started the exothermic heat release from this reaction has heated the converter to operating temperature and to total efficiency. By the time the engine and exhaust system have come to steady state temperature the non-polluting products of this chemmical reaction have been dissipated with the exhaust gases and the system is ready for the next engine startup.
The major advantages offered by this system are explored as well as possible disadvantages. Serious development problems still exist, some of which could be insurmountable. The paper gives ideas of possible controls and methods of operation if this system were used.

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