Precious metals could make your catalytic converter more efficient and cheaper

Gold, ah yes. The precious metal that adorns the majority of the population of the United States and other countries. We like it because of it's looks and the fact that it is rare. Which makes it expensive, unfortunately. But, not as expensive as platinum, another precious metal that is fashionable to wear. What does this have to do with cars? Well, catalytic converters are packed with platinum, which reacts with certain parts of the vehicles emissions and oxygen, effectively cleaning up the spent hydrocarbons. Now, Nanostellar, a spin off from Stanford University, has created some new technology which can replace some of that pricey platinum with gold and palladium, another metal. Not only will the price of the catalytic converters come down, so will the emissions levels. How much? That varies, but automakers spent about $2 billion on platinum in 2005, so it should be a fair chunk of change. Also of benefit would be that automakers can change the formula between gold, palladium and platinum as the market prices shift, and the smell from your diesel car should also be reduced. Lots of benefits from gold, I'd say. Who's willing to give up their jewelery for cleaner emissions?

[Source: CNet]

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