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Original Articles Open Access
Catalytic converters are used to convert harmful exhaust gases like CO, NOx andunburnt hydrocarbons released by internal combustion engine of automobiles into less harmful gases like CO2, H2O and N2. During the start-up of engine run, catalytic converters suffer cold start problems as the catalyst does not remain active in cold conditions. This results in emission of unconverted harmful gases into the atmosphere. This work attempts to eliminate cold start problems using a heat storage system to keep the catalytic converter hot even under engine off conditions. A eutectic alloy of Mg-Zn-Al is used as the Phase Change Material (PCM) to store the heat around the catalyst. This alloy has high latent heat of fusion, high specific heat, suitable melting point and high thermal stability. Mg-Zn-Al eutectic alloy changes its state between liquid and solid on application and removal of heat. Thus this phase change material acts as a heat storage mechanism in the catalytic converter. Catalytic converter design also involves Rockwool insulation in order to aid longer heat storage. This thermal energy storage system as a combination of PCM and insulation, keeps the catalytic converter hot for several hours even after the engine is shut off.
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Author(s): Asheesh Padiyar Vikram K Prateek Kumar Anupama V Joshi and Jagadish H Patil
Mg-Zn-Al eutectic alloy, Rockwool insulation, Thermalenergy storage (TES), automotivecatalytic