A catalytic converter is an automotive component that removes three major harmful compounds from exhaust system of vehicles. The three toxic compounds are namely, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Nitrogen oxides are formed when the heat in the engine induces nitrogen to diffuse with oxygen whereas carbon monoxide is formed by combustion of gasoline. Hydrocarbons are the unutilized gasoline in automobiles.
In catalytic converters, the catalysts are in the forms of rhodium, palladium or platinum, which is coated onto ceramic beads that are attached to exhaust pipes. The catalysts convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide into oxygen and nitrogen, and hydrocarbons into water and carbon dioxide. Platinum used to be the most widely used catalyst but due to its huge cost, palladium and rhodium are used now-a-days. Palladium is the cheapest form of catalyst, which has a price of 40%-50% less than that of rhodium. Platinum and rhodium are generally used as catalysts in high-end automobile exhaust systems.
In Europe, France, Germany, Italy and U.K. are the largest regional markets for automotive catalytic converters. In Asia Pacific, Japan, China and India are the largest regional markets. In North America, the U.S. has been showing steady growth over years and is one of the dominant automotive catalytic converters markets in the world. In Latin America, Brazil is showing substantial growth and is expected to be a key market in the coming years.
Key participants in the industry include Magneti Marelli S.P.A., Faurecia SA, Tenneco Inc., Benteler International AG, Eberspaecher GmbH Holding & Co. KG, BASF Catalysts LLC, Calsonic Kansei Corporation and Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc