It’s a practical question: “If I wash my catalyst, how do I know its performance has rebounded? Is it worth reinstalling, or is it time to replace it?” We hear it all the time from our customers and that’s why we developed the multi-lambda catalyst test system (MLCTS®).
Making the decision to replace an expensive catalyst element requires accurate information on the catalyst’s condition. The MLCTS enables our customers to measure the performance of their catalysts and know whether they’re functioning properly, especially after a chemical wash.
Let’s face it, exhaust gas is a hot, dirty environment – a catalyst will get covered with ash, zinc, phosphorus, sulfur and all sorts of contaminants. If it’s a MIRATECH catalyst, those contaminants probably haven’t permanently deactivated the catalyst – they may have just covered up the catalyst’s active ingredients – the precious metals. Catalyst durability is key, and not all catalysts respond to chemical washing the way MIRATECH catalysts do. We want our customers to get the long life that’s built into our durable catalysts. The way to do that is to maintain it like any fine piece of equipment.
The MLCTS tests catalyst the way it’s meant to operate on a real engine. The name “multi-lambda” describes how MIRATECH’s test system simulates lean-burn and rich-burn engine exhaust, depending on the type of catalyst. The MLCTS tests an oxidation catalyst in a lean-burn environment and tests a three-way catalyst in a rich-burn environment. MIRATECH has filed for a patent for the MLCTS.
For an oxidation catalyst, the system directly measures the catalyst’s ability to oxidize carbon monoxide (CO) in a hot lean environment. That’s the primary purpose of an oxidation catalyst and that’s what we test.
Three-way catalyst chemistry is complex, with steam reforming, water-gas shift, chemical reduction and oxidation reactions occurring simultaneously. The MLCTS activates all these families of reactions by using a well-mixed gas that looks like engine exhaust. The heated gas is composed of nitrogen, NOx, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, water vapor and a small amount of oxygen. The MLCTS directly measures the catalyst’s ability to reduce NOx, which is the primary purpose of a three-way catalyst.
The MLCTS can accept all catalyst sizes and shapes, including 6 in. to 48 in. diameter round elements; rectangles and octagons; and substrates with lips and flanges and recessed foil. The MLCTS provides an automated detailed report after each test. You’ll find MLCTS capability at our headquarters in Oklahoma, at our catalyst manufacturing plant in Tennessee, at our AIR-SONIC location in Sinntal, Germany, and in the capable hands of our dealers in Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania – others are on the way.