Honda Motor Announces Development of Breakthrough Emission Control System

Reduces Use of Precious Metals by 50 to 70 Percent

3/22/2001 8:06:31 PM

Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Catalytic Solutions, Inc. (CSI), of Oxnard, Calif., have developed a breakthrough emission control system that greatly reduces the use of costly precious metals, Honda announced today.

Honda holds a 10 percent stake in CSI. The company was founded in 1996 and has focused on the development of advanced materials technologies for application to catalysts.

The emission control technology uses perovskites and other metal oxides, allowing for a 50 to 70 percent reduction in the use of precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. To achieve the full benefits of the system, control of the air/fuel ratio and early catalytic activation are important, which are key attributes of Honda's advanced low emission technology.

Honda has been evaluating the performance benefits of the technology with CSI since 1999. The technology will be implemented for the first time on a new Honda Stepwgn model to be introduced in Japan this April.

Plans call for the technology to be applied to other Honda models in markets around the world in the years ahead, including the U.S. No timetable has been established for the introduction of the technology on vehicles sold outside Japan.

CSI developed the new catalytic coating materials used in the perovskite three-way catalyst. These materials include unique crystal structures that convert and reduce oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The two companies worked together to optimize the properties for Honda's automotive catalysts, with Honda's air/fuel ratio control and early catalytic activation capabilities playing a key role.

Honda has long been a leader in low emission technologies, dating back to 1975 when the Civic CVCC became the first car to meet the 1970 Clean Air emissions requirements without using a catalytic converter. Over the years, Honda introduced the first gasoline-powered car to meet the Low Emission Vehicle standard (1995), the first gasoline-powered car to meet the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard (1997), the first to sell LEV vehicles voluntarily in all 50 states and the first to sell a gasoline-powered vehicle meeting the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard (2000), the most stringent emission standard in the world. With the introduction of the 2001 Civic lineup, Honda also became the first company to distribute ULEV rated vehicles in all 50 states.