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New Process Reduces Consumption of Precious Metals by Up to 50 Percent

Published on October 30, 2008 at 6:23 PM

The successful completion of an aging test marks a significant step forward for the new catalytic converter technology from Namos GmbH, a Dresden-based company partly owned by Nanostart AG. This new process is anticipated to reduce the consumption of precious metals such as platinum in the production of automotive catalytic converters by up to one half.

Of all the testing procedures which must be fulfilled before full market introduction, the aging test is particularly important. This purpose of this test is to prove that the catalytic converter remains functional when it is subjected to temperatures of more than 600 C for an extended period of time. In many cases, these conditions can lead to a coarsening of the precious metal particles, resulting in a rapid impairment of function.

Under the simulated aging conditions, Namos was able to successfully prove that automotive catalytic converters produced using its proprietary bionanotechnology-based process continue to function flawlessly even at the high temperatures experienced in actual automotive use.

Dr. Jürgen Hofinger, Managing Director of Namos GmbH, commented on the completion of this milestone: 'The successful completion of the aging tests are both a source of satisfaction for us and an incentive to push forward. The next step will be to simulate the relevant application parameters in model catalytic converters. Following that, prototypes will be produced and tested in both automotive testing facilities and in actual vehicles.'

News of the successful completion of the aging tests has met with enthusiasm in the automotive industry. According to industry experts, confirmation of these results in actual catalytic converters will be convincing proof of the technical superiority of the new process from Namos.

Some 230 metric tons of new, non-recycled precious metals are currently consumed annually for the coating of automotive catalytic converters, corresponding to a value of USD 8.3 billion dollars. The new technology from Namos could save one half of this amount, or more than USD 4 billion dollars annually.

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