Are catalytic converters poisonous?

I've been looking around and it seems like most catalytic converters have palladium in them. I think palladium is mostly inert but palladium salts are highly toxic. I would like to open up a catalytic converter and use the substrate to make a thermoacoustic engine stack. So do you know if it would be poisonous to me to open a catalytic converter? Thanks!

Question by snotty   |  last reply


Is it possible to convert a catalytic converter to a hydrogen fuel cell?

I've read that catalytic covnerters use platinum and hydrogen fuel cell required platinum. So is it possible? and is it a cheaper/more affective way to make a fuel cell then by buy platinum to build the fuel cell or buying an actual fuel cell?

Question by Sun Gear   |  last reply



Help me diagnose a check engine light for a patch and my eternal esteem! Answered

Check Engine Light/ Catalytic Converter: A while ago my 97 V6 XLE Camry's check engine light went on and the guys at the dealership who ripped me off to diagnose it ($100) explained that it was a bad catcon. I replaced the part (with much sweat blood and tears) and it solved the problem (light went off) and the vehicle passed emissions testing. Whohoo! Only now the light is back on and I am not savvy enough to just figure it out and not rich enough to buy the diagnostic testing device or to take it back to the dealer. Anyone know of a good way to diagnose for cheap?! 

Question by Kaelessin   |  last reply


I have 3 devices under my car connected to my exhaust, but I dont know what they are or what to do about them?

I have 3 devices under my car connected to the exhaust system. Im unsure about what they are, what I can do about them, or how I can modify these to make the car louder,lighter,and less restricted. The car is not broken and doesnt need repair, this is about modding it. My biggest concern is the last device (3rd picture), because it is big, and most likely heavy. I know the exhaust system will restrict the engine, I also know that the exhaust system has a muffler and a catalytic converter. So my question is   What is this device in the back? How can it be removed/bypassed/replaced/modified to be louder lighter and less restricting? And if I cant do anything with it, what can I do? (the devices are in order from closest to engine to farthest)

Question by fastcar123   |  last reply


Need help with engine trouble.

Ok, i thought about buying this car, but want an idea on whats wrong with it, they sent me an email saying they checked the catalytic converter when i asked, its a rotary engine but on the post it said "Runs but slowly gets up to speed" and want an idea on that.

Topic by Yerboogieman   |  last reply


Used car scam? My sister bought a used car privately and now the catalytic is done- what can she do?

 She bought the car about two weeks ago, and it ran great for exactly 5 days.  Then it started shaking and making strange noises.  She took it into our old high school auto shop for a diagnosis, but a student disconnected the battery while it was hooked up (to clean the terminals) and we lost the diagnosis.  The instructor informed her that it would take a few days for the engine maintenance light to come back on, and to come back if and when this occurred.  Well it did- exactly 5 days later.  We are pretty sure it was reset the day she bought it so that by the time the problem arose, it would be "her problem", but can't prove it.  I'm pretty sure a catalytic converter does not constitute a safety issue, thus wouldn't be covered under her certification.  Is there anything she can do, is she on her own?

Question by mikahchayce   |  last reply


Cant find ALDL on '84 Buick Park Ave.

Car starts easy and runs great till I stop and try to re-start car. Then I get a "check engine" light and it will barely start and barely get me home. Have replaced everything it needed such as: Fuel pump-Re-built distributor-battery-catalytic convertor and it still does it. Want to do the paper-clip trick on the ALDL but I can't find it under the dash. Can anyone help???

Question by oakridge1956 


PLastic to oil converter

Hello, One year later, I found that video on youtube about a japanese scientist who converted plastic back to oil : Source : http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/plastic-to-oil-fantastic/ I waited for a convenient version for home use but still the smallest system weight 50Kg (100 pounds I guess). For what I read on the subject it's a kind of catalytic pyrolysis (whatever it means for such a non scientist as myself...). As any of you have an idea on how to make this kind of system for everyday use?

Topic by hypelike   |  last reply


How to create a safe DIY Snuba Apparatus

My Idea so far is to use an air pump (maybe one similar to the one that pumps up inflatables?) is to feed air down a tube to a modified snorkle mask with a 1-way valve going in, and a one-way valve feeding just into plain water.  The air pump would have filters and a catalytic carbon-monoxide filter/converter (w/ small heating element) in the tube leading down to the mask. The idea is that there is always a fresh supply of air running through the mask that there could be no deadly build-up of bad gases within the small area.  Included is a picture of how I envison it (minus the lame Microsoft Paint drawing skills).

Topic by Zalo   |  last reply


3X Gasoline Engines Sniff Vapors and Burn Water

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? How can water possibly be turned into a useful fuel by just burning it? Sure we can use hydrolysis to separate water into its hydrogen and oxygen gases, and then burn the hydrogen gas as fuel, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Believe it or not, jet engines do it, they have used water to enhance engine thrust, so why not have IC-engines do the same thing? There’s a catch here, since only vapo-engines (  http://goo.gl/QQ42k ) are capable of performing this trick successfully, they must first be introduced into the design mix. Since IC-vapo-engines burn very effectively they run hot, and water would be used as a better alternative than injecting extra wasteful fuel to cool down the engine as is done in today’s engine to prevent knocking. Why don’t we just inject water in today’s engines you ask?  Because they run so poorly already, that the water would extinguish the IC-combustion process. In technical jargon this is known as the ability for an engine to burn lean with an air-to-fuel ratio greater than ~15. Today’s engines can’t sustain a leaner combustion than ~22  without extinguishing themselves. By adding water droplets we further increase this ratio to unsustainable conditions. Unfortunately, this wasteful, richer burning keeps the engine running better by keeping the fuel cooler. In contrast, our vapo-engine is capable of burning unbelievably lean ratios of ~30+. Lean combustion means almost no pollutants and virtually green combustion exhaust products of only CO2 and water. No catalytic converters necessary here, as opposed to running today’s rich engines with their unavoidable polluting exhaust emissions and heavy reliance on catalytic converters. So the irony here is that since IC-engines already run ratty, let’s waste a little more fuel and run richer just to cool down the engine. This prevents engine knocking (the dieseling of an engine due to unwanted, poorly timed, premature combustion) which occurs from the pitiful amount of fuel that does vaporize and burn correctly. Sadly, engineers have cleverly learned to waste fuel for the sole purpose of keeping our IC-engines cool, above and beyond the engine’s normal water cooling system. It gets even better, as the richer the engine runs the more we need to rely on expensive catalytic converters to keep exhaust emissions in check!  Vapo-engines also require cooling, even more than today’s engines, but their advantage is the capability to burn very lean. So instead of ridiculously injecting extra fuel to cool them, like today’s engines, we inject water droplets mixed in with the injected fuel vapor. The water droplets perform three functions; 1) they reduce excess fuel consumption, 2) they cool the engine walls to prevent pre-ignition and knocking which provides better combustion, and 3) they enhance the fuel-vapor detonation force created on the piston from the expanding superheated steam which further helps engine performance. So in a way we are burning the water to generate steam power like a locomotive.   

Topic by RT-101   |  last reply


I'm trying to develop a portable 'Thermos' style flask that heats around 500ml of water within 1 hour for on-the-go use.

I'm struggling to decide on a power source and a heating method. My tutor has suggested fuel cell technology but this is not readily available yet and although there is a lot of research on the topic, I have to create a working model. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated? Thanks for all your answers - much appreciated. I need it to heat 500ml of water to around 80C (enough for a hot beverage) so that the user can then add instant coffee/tea. I've looked into the technology behind zippo handwarmers using lighter fuel and a catalytic converter. I must either have a working model or perhaps just a prototype with a separate model simulating the technology within the flask. I need it to be fairly innovative so using batteries wouldn't work for this (plus it would be too bulky). Thanks again!

Question by ey14   |  last reply


Eee, when I were young...

In no particular order...We had a single telephone in the house, landline, rotary dial, and several neighbours didn't have that.One TV in the house. CRT, 15 inch screen.Only three TV channels.They weren't on all night. They weren't even on all day.Black and white, all the way - TV, camera filmOnly two transistor radios in the house, running off 9V batteries the size of my fist.Most stations were on AM & LW bands. Commercial stations broadcast from "abroad".One record player in the house, which still have a position on the speed selector for playing 78rpm discs.Headphones the size of scotch eggs were the norm, not a fashion statement.No mobile phones at all.No game systems.No hand-held units.No home computers (the ZX81 came out when I was 14).The internet wasn't even a pipedream.The largest libraries had microfiche.Foreign holidays were a luxury - the only £10 trip was a one-way ticket to Australia.I did not see a black man in the flesh until I was 13. Oriental later the same year.Seat belts were not only optional, they were often not fitted.Ladders were toys, not a risk to life and limb.No speed cameras. Speed traps involved measured distances and policemen with stop-watches.No central heating.No double glazing.No catalytic converters.Petrol had lead in it, but only cost pennies a gallon.If you spent an hour in London, your snot turned black. If you spent a day there, it stayed black for a week."CCTV" was just a random collection of consonants.Old factories were called "derelict", not "industrial heritage", and kids called them "playgrounds".The bombsites were still blamed on Hitler.Russia was still Soviet, and old folk thought of them as allies.Hospitals smelled of carbolic soap, and the only infections came in with the patients. Nurses had starched collars and pink-scrubbed hands.I was the only child with asthma in a school of 400.Nobody was allergic to anything, except powdered eggs.Terrorists all had Irish accents, and telephoned the police to tell them where the bombs were.Nuclear power was going to give us free electricity in only five years - just in time to power the robot maid.Nuclear war was a genuine fear.The Falklands War was news, not history.You could hitch-hike and expect to arrive at your destination alive.Alcoholism was a hobby, not a disease.Lager was for poofters, cider was for girls.Nobody knew how to play basketball, baseball or ice hockey, and football was only ever played with a round ball. The nearest thing to "protective clothing" in sport was a goalie's gloves.Rollerskates had wheels on the corners, and strapped to your shoe.Banks were as trusted as the police. The police were trusted.Policemen were tall.Emergency vehicles went nee nah nee nah! (except for the ones with bells).Flared trousers were original.Science fiction had ray guns and robots, and spacemen were spacemen.You could travel ten miles and find people who spoke a different dialect (not just a different accent).Kids who misbehaved in school got sent to the head for a caning, instead of to the doctor for a tablet.Health and safety meant "don't do anything daft", and if you fell off a roof and broke your leg it was your own damned fault, not the fault of the roof-owner for not warning you about the drop, and nobody sued anybody.Gay meant "happy", and camp meant "in tents".Teachers that hit you were firm professionals, not dangerous perverts.The phrase "two car family" hadn't been coined....and I didn't feel quite so old.

Topic by Kiteman 


The "truth" about climate change - a little story

Global warming, climate change, jelly fish attacks, changed ocean currents...We all know the highlights from the news but what is the real deal behind all of this?It can't be denied that burning fossil fuels with no regrets has an impact on our globe.CO2 and other gasses or elements have been trapped for thausands of years.We release them all into our atmosphere and while doing so keep adding more harmful stuff.So, of course it is easy to say that if we would have nver used our fossile fuels to this extent then our world would be unharmed and a happy place throughout.Even if we would ignore the impossible task of making it where we are right now without having used any fossile fuels: How much would it be different?If we trust the offical climate data that has been collected then it clearly shows a rise in so called climate changing emissions since our industrial revolution started.Be it data from the ice, core drillings or just sample taken from old canyons - the results are all the same.Since the late 1800's there is a steady rise in emissions, CO2 and all the other things we don't really want in our air.And for good reasons all these green advocates try their best to stop us from doing more harm.Since the 80's we started to actually care more, better engines, catalytic converters, cleaning mechanisms for our industiral waste and chimneys.But did it make any change or difference?About 40 years now some countries try hard to do it right, so this must show up somewhere?!Well it does not.You see countries like the US never really cared about climate or the enviroment if there was a cheaper and easier option.Just check how long it took them to even acknowledge that our climate is changing due to our interference...Then there is China and as we have seen with the olympics they literally have to shut down production so you can see for more than a few km...But the same is true for so many other countries.Like everwhere else the industrial revolutions comes sooner or later and as always the cheapest way is done first and for far too long.And with the delay in reactions and consequences it is now certain that the worst is yet to come.Of course there is also another side to the entire story - nature itself.We destroy it where we can to safisfy our need for being cheap.Ever wondered where all this cheap furniture is coming from?Or all the wood used throughout the world?Rainforests are disappearing, flora and fauna is destroyed.In most cases with a lot of fires as it is still the easiest way to clean up when done.Now add the vulcanic eruptions that increased over the past 20 odd years around the world.And if you dare all the bushfires or natural causes.Combined this causes a higher impact than all our burning of fossile fuels - and it adds to the mix.And this brings us back in time.Taking the records of climete conditions all the way back to before the dinosaurs showed us that we had periods of much higher temperatures than what we might see soon.CO2 level at some periods were so high that the earth literally was a green house.So why did we humans amke it anyway onto this earth if chance were so bad?Species adjust, evolve or go extinct, new ones appear...Well, unless you are a croc or so and really don't care about Darvin and evolution ;)Does that mean we are on the way to become a new species?Sadly no, because we are the cause of all our problems.We now use technology and science to adjust nature and the enviroment to our needs.It gets too hot? Well add an airconditioner, will you!?The ground water is too contaminted to drink? Well, why do you think we invented bottled water?!You need room for new homes? Don't mind the flood planes, just drain them and build, there was no flood in over 30 years...See, even if we would go fully green and honur nature around the world from today on.Even if we try to clean up the mess we already created.The effects of what we did over the last 40 or more years are still in progress and far from over.Like a good stew it keep cooking until it is ready to serve.But strenght comes in numbers!Like a virus we keep multiplying even in areas with very limited ressources.After all, we just import what we need..Natural selection is being eliminated so pharma companies can make a living too.From just over 40 years our "natural" life expectency increased now to well into the 80's.You are not fertile? No problem we have means to fertilise your eggs with the sperm from hubby!Already suffering badly from diabetes, asthma or other chronical illness? No problem, have some kids anyway.And just to top it always make sure to avoid natural foods in favour for processed and artificial ingredients.In nature the weak, the sick, the old, the malformed and incapable are a food source.We took this food source away, keet them around, care for them and make sure really everyone has the same chance in life.In life - but not in nature anymore!Social evolution meant that natural selection was no longer a requirement to ensure a strong "tribe" or hunting party.We compensated the drain on ressources and all pharma companies are still very grateful for this.No this is no weird rant on humanity or the idea of some mad person, it is just the naked reality we like to ignore.A horse breeder will not accept a weak and constanlty sick horse for his breeding stock.A broken leg, like for a cow usually just means the animal is put down.Some dog breeders still prefer to cull a few pups just because the color pattern is not nice enough or the ears are too short.Even if you just breed fish you o through all sorts of troubles to ensure you have the best genes available in your tanks.You think this is already going to far with the ideas, I know :(But we have real world examples highlighting the results of the exact opposite: Inbreeding and ignoring the defects in genes and health.The british royal family destroyed the italian and russin monarchies the same was the spanish and protugise, even impacted on the french.In times when there was no clue about genetic defects or deseases that can be dormant in females but very active in males, the british royalty simply kept providing tainted bloodlines to the other royal familes.No offsprings that are male and of good health meant the end of their monarchies.The british survived by allowing the common folk to join the blue blood lines and now it is common in all the monachrchies left in the world.Remove the carries, provide fresh genes to get a better diversity.Really no offence, but just look at Charles and Camilla ;)Jokes aside: the story of the european monarchies shows what happens if things go too wrong.From hunters a gatherers that either kept healthy or died out we eveloved to having a gene pool that is full of nasty surprises.Again no offence meant in any way or to any person!If we compare our world with a big aquarium than it might have eveloved like this:Once there was a bowl full of plants, guppies and lots of other fish and creatures living on each other.Over time the guppies learnt when the feeding times are and made sure they get most of the food.Slowly the other psecies had not enough room and food anymore, only the hunter had a good linving with the huge supply of guppies.Then the guppies managed to reduce the dangers from all predators around and started to really take off.Soon every guppy had only conerns about having a good life and enough food.The waste got more and more, the sick and ill too.The last hunter able to fight them died off as he too suffered from the wasten the changed enviroment and gnetic defects transfered.Now there is little plants left, guppies everywhere, crap everywhere and even those guppies only living a few months still manages to find a partner to ensure their tainted gene pool spreads into the general population.We have no tank owner getting the balance right again, removing the sick and weak, we humans just keep going strong and if the crap pile gets too high we put grass and houses on top of it....We humans don't like to be compared with fish, a virus or any other lower being for that matter.These hings just don't affect or concern us.And anyone who dares to do so anyway has a long list of nasty words thrown at them.Is it because we humans can't tolerate the truth?Or is because deep inside we all know but refuse to think about it?

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply