Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, is a big concern nowadays. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that air pollution is a leading environmental health risk. About 7 million premature deaths are usually attributed to air pollution exposure every year, not to mention the number of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases that it causes.
A big chunk of air pollution is caused by harmful emissions from vehicles and industries. That’s where catalysts come in. Catalysts are materials that help speed up chemical reactions while also preventing the formation of pollutants. In other words, they help reduce harmful emissions while also making the process more efficient.
Using catalysts to reduce emissions
Whether it’s indoor or outdoor air pollution, one of the main culprits is emissions from vehicles and industries. These emissions contain a mixture of harmful gases and particles, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter.
You can, however, work with a trusted catalyst company to create a system that will help reduce these harmful emissions. Catalytic converters, for example, are devices that are placed in the exhaust system of engines.
They contain catalysts that can be used to reduce harmful emissions in several ways:
1. By breaking down harmful gases into harmless ones
One of the main ways catalysts help reduce emissions is by breaking down harmful gases into harmless ones. For example, carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from vehicles can be reduced by using an oxidative catalyst to convert them into carbon dioxide (CO2), which is not harmful.
2. By converting harmful gases into useful products
Another way catalysts help reduce emissions is by converting harmful gases into useful products. For example, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from vehicles can be reduced by using a reduction catalyst to break them down into nitrogen and oxygen gas.
How do catalysts convert harmful gases?
Catalysts work by using chemical reactions to convert harmful gases into harmless ones or useful products. In order for this to happen, the catalyst must come into contact with the gas.
There are two main reactions that catalysts use to convert harmful gases:
1. Oxidation reactions
Oxidation reactions are the most common type of reaction used by catalysts to convert harmful gases. In these reactions, the catalyst helps the gas molecules to combine with oxygen in the air to form harmless products like carbon dioxide and water vapor.
2. Reduction reactions
Reduction reactions are less common, but they can also be used by catalysts to convert harmful gases. In these reactions, the catalyst helps the gas molecules to release oxygen, leaving behind a harmless product like nitrogen gas.
The benefits of using catalysts
Using catalysts to reduce emissions has many benefits. First of all, it’s a more efficient way to reduce emissions than other methods, such as scrubbing. Scrubbing is a process that removes pollutants from emissions by using water or chemicals. However, this process is often not very effective and can be expensive.
Catalysts are also more environmentally friendly than other methods of emission control, such as incineration. Incineration is a process that burns emissions in order to reduce them. However, this process can release harmful pollutants into the air, making the problem of air pollution even worse.
Finally, using catalysts to reduce emissions can also help save energy. This is because the process of breaking down harmful gases into harmless ones is often exothermic, meaning it releases heat. This heat can be used to power other processes, such as generating electricity.
To sum it all up,
Catalysts play an important role in reducing harmful emissions and air pollution. They’re more efficient than other methods of emission control, more environmentally friendly, and can also help save energy. Therefore, using catalysts to reduce emissions is a smart choice for both individuals and industries alike.
At applied catalysts, we offer a variety of catalysts that can be used for emission control. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you reduce emissions and improve air quality.