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These folks are looking to replace precious metals with cheap copper or something.


In a laboratory on the U of M campus, researchers are using complex equipment to find a solution to a complex problem.

In a sense, they're trying to make catalytic converters less attractive to thieves.


"There's platinum, rhodium, palatium, all precious metals that do different chemistries that help clean up the exhaust from a car," said Paul Dauenhauer, University of Minnesota researcher.

Professor Dauenhauer and his 15-person crew want to replace those targeted metals with something much cheaper but just as efficient, like copper. The secret is in something that looks like computer chips.

"We can make the surface, which is a low-cost metal like copper, behave like a precious metal," said Dauenhauer.

Results over the past few years have been so positive that last month the U.S. Department of Energy gave them a $10.6 million grant to continue their work.


The researchers said the recycled copper replacement is also more friendly to the environment.

"I would say this is a new class of catalyst that's never been looked at before," said On.

Which is why they're now calling them "catalytic condensers."And as the technology advances, Dauenhauer believes it can be used for much more than just catalytic converters.

"We also use them in the production in renewable hydrogen from solar and wind. Or to make fertilizers like ammonia that people use in agriculture. These are all made with precious metals. Our goal is to replace all of those," said Dauenhauer.
 

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boy, talk about easy pickings. Bus is way up high off the ground, you don't even have to get hardly mussed up. Probably do it while sitting on the ground.
Same thing happened two weekends ago at work with our Chevy box truck. We have video, but can’t see the plates on their vehicle. 5:00 on Saturday morning, in and out in under 5 min I believe it was. Frame is high enough off the ground they could just crawl under and start cutting.



 

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The difference with copper (if that ever becomes more than vaporware) is the converter would only fetch them $25 instead of several hundred.
 
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