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This production process cuts Pt usage in catalytic converters in half

By Tetsuo Satoh |

Chemists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and technology (AIST; Tsukuba City, Japan; www.aist.go.jp) have developed a procedure for making the catalysts used in catalytic converters for treating the exhaust from diesel engines. The process, developed with support from a New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) project, has the potential to decrease the usage of Pt by 50%, while enabling mass production of the Pt-Pd nanoparticle catalyst. To make the catalyst, alumina powder is first impregnated using an aqueous solution of a salt of the precious metals with a small amount of polyol reducing agent, such as ethylene glycol. Nanoparticles of the metal become deposited on the surface of the dried alumina powder by the polyol reduction reaction in heated nitrogen gas. Finally, the residual polyol is burned off, leaving behind a catalyst system with supported nanoparticles. Not only does the new catalyst system require less Pt, but it is said to be more resistant to high temperatures. Compared to existing Pt-Pd catalyst systems, the new system exhibits the same, or better performance for the treatment of hydrocarbons from exhaust, achieving a 95% cleaning efficiency at temperatures above…
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