Traditional approaches to pollution control have been to develop benign non-polluting processes or to abate emissions at the tailpipe or stack before emitting to the atmosphere. A new technology called PremAir®* Catalyst Systems takes a different approach and directly reduces ambient ground level ozone. This technology can be applied to both mobile and stationary applications. For automotive applications, the new system involves placing a catalytic coating on the car's radiator or air conditioner condenser. As air passes over the radiator or condenser, the catalyst converts the ozone into oxygen.
Three Volvo vehicles with a catalyst coating on the radiator were tested on the road during the 1997 summer ozone season in southern California to assess performance. Studies were also conducted in Volvo's laboratory to determine the effect of the catalyst coating on the radiator's performance with regard to corrosion, heat transfer and pressure drop. Measurements on full size vehicles showed that the PremAir Catalyst System conversion is a function of the radiator's geometric surface area and the total volume and conversions ranged from 47 % to 75 %.
No deleterious effects on corrosion, pressure drop or heat transfer properties were noted.