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Introduction to substances that speed up chemical reactions

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More Carbon Dioxide, Please?

More Carbon Dioxide, Please?

Credit: Steevven1
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Exhaust_pipe_muffler.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

You probably already know that cars produce a considerable amount of air pollution. One of the pollutants frequently identified is carbon dioxide. However, under certain circumstance one might actually want to increase the amount of carbon dioxide produced. Furthermore, the way to do it is to use catalysts!

Why It Matters

  • Most cars are powered by the burning of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel. It is known that this process produces many types of air pollutants. Additionally, the carbon dioxide that is produced has been implicated in global warming. Thus, many people wish to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by cars.
  • Interestingly, cars also produce a considerable amount of soot and carbon monoxide, which is partially combusted fossil fuel. The soot and carbon monoxide can cause a number of health issues and there are companies that are trying to reduce the amount of soot and carbon monoxide in car exhaust by converting it to carbon dioxide. They are achieving this outcome with the use of catalysts.


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With the links below, learn more about catalytic converters. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What are some of the pollutants in the exhaust of cars?
  2. What are some of the components to a catalytic converter and how do they work?
  3. Do you think it is a good idea to generate more carbon dioxide than normal via the use of a catalytic converter? Why?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Steevven1; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Exhaust_pipe_muffler.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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