News Releases 2001
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AutomobileJapanMarch 22, 2001
Honda Announces Development of Breakthrough Emissions Control System

Tokyo, March 22, 2001 -- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it has developed a breakthrough emissions control system in conjunction with Catalytic Solutions, Inc. (CSI), of Oxnard, Calif. The new system greatly reduces the use of costly precious metals, while reducing emissions to a level 50% less than those set by the Japanese government in 2000.

Honda holds a 10 percent stake in CSI. The company was founded in 1996 by Steve Golden and has focused on the development of advanced materials technologies and their applications to catalysts.

The emission control technology uses perovskites and other metal oxides, allowing for a 50 to 70 percent reduction in the use of precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. To achieve the full benefits of the system, control of the air/fuel ratio and early catalytic activation are important. These are key attributes of Honda's advanced low emission technology.

Honda has been evaluating the performance benefits of the technology with CSI since 1999. The technology will be implemented for the first time on a new Honda StepWGN model to be introduced in Japan this April. Plans call for the technology to be applied to other Honda models in markets around the world in the years ahead, including the U.S.

CSI developed the new catalytic coating materials used in the perovskite three-way catalyst. These materials include unique crystal structures that convert and reduce oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The two companies worked together to optimize the properties for Honda's automotive catalysts, with Honda's air/fuel ratio control and early catalytic activation capabilities playing a key role.

* perovskite: the structure taken by crystals of 2 types of metals and oxygen. Due to the fact that the substance is unstable, for various reasons, research is being carried out into its use as a catalyst and as a cold superconductor.

In September 1999, Honda announced its Year 2005 targets for fuel consumption and exhaust gas purification for automobiles sold in Japan:
  • To have all Honda vehicles qualify by 2002 as "E (excellent)-low emission vehicles", whose emission gases are reduced by more than 50% compared with the Japanese government standard set in 2000

  • To reduce hydrocarbon and NOx exhaust gas emissions to 25% of 1995 levels
Honda will accelerate its environmental protection goals by adopting this new emission control system.

Perovskite 3-way Catalyst basic theory

Conventional precious metal catalyst reaction
Perovskite catalyst reaction
Conventional precious metal catalyst reaction Perovskite catalyst reaction
1. The constituent elements of the exhaust gas connect with the precious metals
2. The activated components of the exhaust gas on the precious metal meets other elements and reacts.
3. It becomes CO2, H2O and N2
1. NO bonds in the holes in the lattice
2. Since the O in the NO bonds with the catalyst, the bond with the N becomes weaker and the N becomes detached.
3. CO and HC react with the unstable O molecule and are oxidized
4. The O molecule becomes detached and turns into CO2 and H2O.
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