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Obtaining automotive catalysts using as raw material inorganic solid waste with a high percentage of copper coming from the metalworking industries, machining and foundry: phase II

Abstract

The manufacturing process of automotive catalytic converters presents a great challenge to the manufacturers of catalysts, automobile assemblers and companies that are part of the replacement market. The main catalytic species deposited in the ceramic matrices are noble metals such as rhodium (Rh), palladium (Pd) and platinum (Pt) and are also considered as commodities whose prices are traded on stock exchanges and subject to excessive volatility. The prices of these commodities can exceed 300% in a single month. The ceramic honeycomb with deposited precious metals is the second most expensive item on the assembly line of an automobile by taking into consideration the price of each item of the automobile. In this context, the development of more effective and alternative catalysts, but with lower costs is imperative. This is the technological and economic goal of AGA: to validate a new and efficient catalytic converter based on molecular sieves synthesized with industrial solid waste from the metallurgy and foundry industry. The fundamentals and catalytic feasibility of this technology have already been proven in Phase I of the PIPE project.PIPE-II aims to optimize the process to mold it to the conditions of effective use in the automotive industry, but with several technological advantages in relation to the current catalysts available in the market. In order to achieve this goal, rare earth oxides and transition metals will be incorporated into the catalytic cocktails to optimize the low catalytic efficiency of the catalysts at the light-off temperature (which by definition is temperature where the entire catalytic assembly is still cold) and simultaneously to enhance their thermal resistance to (800-900oC). The other determining step of the current project is the deposition of active molecular sieves for redox reactions in the ceramic honeycomb using the via slurry or impregnation methods according to the following pre-established protocol: preparation of the coating slurry, evaluation of physicochemical parameters (viscosity and pH) and deposition. Finally, the complete set (ceramic support + deposited catalytic "cocktail") will be tested and validated in bench motors assays in order to reach the parameters established in the norms of the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT), specifically ABNT NBR6601 and ABNT NBR12026 which regulates the levels of emitted gases such as CO, NOx and hydrocarbons. The tests will be performed simulating real conditions of use in transient temperature fluctuations (150-1000ºC) and different concentrations of the combustion gases. The collected data will be quantified and compared with the standard values established in the P7 regulation of PROCONVE (Air Pollution Control Program for Automotive Vehicles), accredited by the National Environment Council (CONAMA) to controlling air pollution from the vehicle fleet. Durability and thermal stability tests will be also conducted to meet EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and ABNT standards. It is expected that a product with technological innovation and economic value added will be developed, and it will be very effective in controlling emissions of pollutants from exhaust systems, and whose competitive advantage is due to the fact that noble metals (Rh, Pd and Pt) which are responsible for the high cost of current catalysts will be playing a secondary role in this new technology. (AU)