Catalytic converters fix one pollution problem, cause another

The article I read was about the damage that catalytic converters do to the environment. In the article the University of California Transportation Center and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District funded the research to find out how much ammonia cars were releasing through their catalytic converters. A catalytic converter is a ceramic structure that is coated with platinum, rhodium or palladium. The converter acts as a filter for exhaust, and it converts hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide into simple harmless carbons. Originally, the catalytic converters reduced pollution from cars but are now producing large quantities of haze-causing ammonia, according to the journal of Environmental Science and Technology, which was published by the American Chemical Society. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is concerned about the Ammonia particles going into the air from the converters because under the Clean Air Act they are a danger to human health. This case will also be presented to the US Supreme Court this term. During their research, they found that a typical car emits 0.28 ounces of ammonia, which is the equivalent of a teaspoon (per hundred miles). While catalytic converters have helped reduce air pollution, they are now causing other issues but producing and releasing Ammonia into the air. Catalytic converters are not the only cause of ammonia discharges, animal waste, sewage treatment and fertilizers are doing this as well.


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