Since 1993 motor vehicles such as Cars, Lorries and Motorbikes have had to have an emission-controlling device (catalytic converter) fitted to it. Currently all non-road and plant vehicles are exempt from having a catalytic converter fitted to them.
Emissions of NOx
(nitrous oxides), CO (Carbon Monoxide), HC (un-burnt Hydrocarbons) are major contributors to global warming and have adverse health effects, not to mention low laying Ozone produced in the vast temperatures inside a cars engine. Carbon Monoxide itself isn’t a greenhouse gas but elevates methane and ozone levels in the lower atmosphere leading to global warning.
By fitting 3-way catalytic converters to ALL new non road and plant vehicles the amount of Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Dioxide, Ozone and un-burnt Hydrocarbons will be converted into less harmful CO2
(Carbon Dioxide), N2
O (Water) and O2
The impact will also help reduce global warming. If we look at the impact CO2 has on global warming and we give it the value of 1 the following is the impact of the other gases:
– Nitrous Oxide – 310 1
– Methane (most simple HC) – 21 1
O ≈ 0
Other harmful gases such as Benzene, PM (particulate matter [soot]), 1:3 Butadiene and SO2 (sulphur dioxide) are emitted through burning of petrol/diesel fuels.
Research is already underway to ensure that emissions are looked at for all non road vehicles.
The effect of Nitrous Oxide in global warming over the next 100 years gram for gram will have 298 times more impact than that of Carbon Dioxide. The Nitrous oxides also produce Acid rain and can catalyse the reaction of ozone formation in lower levels of the atmosphere (this can lead to photochemical smog) as shown in the image below.
This is a prediction of how much of an impact these gases will have on global warning over the next 100 at their current levels:
as stated before having an effect 298 times greater than carbon dioxide, it is imperative that nitrous oxides are removed from the atmosphere. Many catalytic converters these days will have the ability to produce 'cleaner' air from the exhaust than what was used in the fuel combustion (the engine takes in NOx, Methane and ozone and converts to nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water and oxygen)
To fit a catalytic converter, no modifications will need to be made to the vehicles (meaning there is no change in the performance or the way the vehicles function), it is simply putting a honey comb like structure into the exhaust system close to the engine manifold. as shown below:
3-way catalyst - converts NOX, CO and HC to Water, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen.
CFS (Catalysed soot filter) - operates in the same way as a 3 way catalyst, but is made of a semi-porous material which traps soot and particulates being released by the combustion of diesel causing them to burn completely to produce carbon dioxide and water