As the cost of precious metals like platinum and rhodium has been rising, car makers have been working on reducing the content of those materials in their catalytic converters. Nissan has been using nano-technology to help keep the application of the catalytic materials more uniform. The new catalyst design will be going into production on a new vehicle in late 2008, early 2009 and will be shared with partner Renault.

This idea of catalyst thrifting is not unique to Nissan. It is also one of the keys to General Motors' efforts to increase the efficiency and lower the cost of their fuel cells. By creating a more uniform surface of the catalytic materials, less material can react more completely.

[Source: Reuters]

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