A notable discovery was made by a team from the IIT Jodhpur chemistry department who developed a catalytic converter for cars using Rajasthani clay. A catalytic converter is a device that is fitted to a vehicle’s exhaust to reduce the pollutants coming from it.
Rakesh K Sharma, who led the team said the catalytic converter, was developed by extracting Iron-Nickel-Cobalt nanoparticles from Rajasthani clay. He said that clay acts as an oxygen reservoir and makes the pollutants less harmful.
”The catalytic converters in use have expensive rare earth elements — Palladium and Cerium — in them and their life span is about 10 years against an approximate 15-year life of a four-wheeler,” Sharma said.
“We had three challenges — a reduction of temperature, replacement of Palladium and Cerium and redesigning the convertor”, the professor said, adding that Rajasthani clay turned out to be a perfect solution.
Sharma also said that the currently-used catalytic converters require rare earth elements, Palladium and Cerium. These elements are not only highly expensive but have to be imported.