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Automotive catalysis

A new material for use in automotive catalytic converters, comprising metals from the family of chemical elements called lanthanides, has been developed in the Chemistry Institute of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp). The catalytic converter, a ceramic part that goes between the gas outlet from the engine and the tailpipe, converts the toxic gases coming from combustion engines into non-toxic gases. Conversion is done by a catalytic compound injected into the holes of the ceramic honeycomb-shaped part. In commercial models precious metals like palladium, rhodium and platinum are used. The new material, for which a patent has been lodged by Unicamp’s Innovation Agency, allows a product to be obtained that is more affordable and efficient, as shown by the results of the research carried out during post-doctoral studies by chemical engineer, Hubert Augusto Alvarez, with help from chemical engineer, Raphael Suppino.