Toyota Launching Improved Catalytic Converter
By Paul Myles
Toyota announces a new catalytic converter it claims has 20% less precious-metal content and costs less to produce than conventional technology.
The new unit, which also is about one-fifth smaller than current converters, is ready for mass production and will be introduced later this year on the Lexus LC 500h hybrid luxury coupe.
The design features what Toyota calls an integrally molded flow-adjustable-design cell (FLAD) substrate. Its key feature is a different cross-section of the cells in the inner and outer parts of the catalyst.
Toyota says conventional substrates with a uniform cell cross-sectional area produce an unbalanced flow as gas moves faster and in a higher volume through the inner portion compared with the outer portion. As a result, a greater amount of catalytic precious metal is needed in the inner portion, where flow rate is higher, to maintain the purification process.
Current catalytic material wash-coating technologies require that all cell walls be coated equally during the wash-coating process, which means the same amount of precious metal is used in all areas, both where the gas flow rate is higher and lower. Toyota’s system applies different wash-coating densities in the catalytic converter’s different zones, saving on precious metal content.
Toyota says it will continue to work with companies within its group and related business partners to further develop catalyst technologies that will achieve cleaner exhaust gas while using less precious metal.