A scientist working with the University of Texas at Dallas now claims that he and his team have succeeded in finding a replacement for the platinum presently used by diesel engines manufacturers in order to control the amounts of pollution released into the atmosphere by diesel-powered vehicles.
Thus, Dr. Kyeongjiae Cho, who specializes in material science, engineering and physics, argues that manmade oxide mullite can not only successfully replace the platinum found in diesel engines, but that using this material also fosters financial and environmental benefits.
Their study on this issue, which is to be published in the research journal 'Science' on the 17th of August, shows how this innovative material yields better results in terms of pollution control and is also much cheaper to produce and use.
More precisely, tests carried out to verify this theory showed that manmade oxide mullite further reduces pollution by as much as nearly 50% when compared to the overall efficiency of platinum.
Furthermore, diesel engine manufacturers stand to really take a liking to this material, simply because, as opposed to platinum, it is neither expensive, nor rare.
As Dr. Kyeongjiae Cho puts it, “Many pollution control and renewable-energy applications require precious metals that are limited – there isn't enough platinum to supply the millions and millions of automobiles driven in the world. Mullite is not only easier to produce than platinum, but also better at reducing pollution in diesel engines.”
Given the fact that, not very long ago, the World Health Organization warned about how the exhaust coming from diesel engines is likely to cause cancer when individuals suffer prolonged exposures to it, being able to further cut down on the amounts of pollution such vehicles produce simply by switching to a catalyst which is both cheaper and more efficient than platinum it seems to us like good news indeed.
“Our goal to move completely away from precious metals and replace them with oxides that can be seen commonly in the environment has been achieved. We’ve found new possibilities to create renewable, clean energy technology by designing new functional materials without being limited by the supply of precious metals,” concluded Dr. Kyeongjiae Cho.