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Researchers at the Imperial College London have built a more modern take on the usual catalytic converter, which is more efficient at removing emissions.

Although still in testing stages, the new catalytic converter is thought to be lighter, smaller and much cheaper than the modern tech, using only 20% of the rare metals of current devices.

Catalytic converters are systems that help to remove harmful particles and emissions from the exhaust system of cars, lowering their CO2 emissions. The new component developed by the Imperial College London is thought not to only lower emissions but to also reduce the fuel consumption of any vehicle it is installed in by as much as 3%. Whilst no figures have yet been released regarding CO2 output, it is also said to reduce emissions 'considerably'.

Development of the new converter has been fuelled by the desire to reduce the amount of rare metals used in the construction of such devices. As well as being expensive, these materials, including the rare metal platinum, can quickly degrade, vastly shortening the life of current catalytic converters. In tests currently being made, the deterioration of the new converter has been measured as a rate of 4% when travelling a distance of 62,000 miles; current tech deteriorates at a rate of 35% over the same distance.

Development of the new catalytic converter has been overseen by Dr Benjamin Kingsbury from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. He states that he "...hope to have it finished and running on a car within 18 months". He went on to comment that a catalytic converter is the most important part of a vehicle for controlling the emission of toxic chemicals. They were first developed more than 70 years ago, but their overall designs have not changed over the years. He also said that he has a number of carmakers interested in his new design, and that they should make running a car significantly cheaper.

Added on Thursday, 30th January 2014 by WMCW Admin

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