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Platinum Metals Rev., 1999, 43, (2), 70

Autocatalyst Plant for India

Ninth Johnson Matthey Automobile Facility

  • Jatin Thakrar
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The problem of air quality in India, especially in New Delhi, is well known, with hundreds of tonnes of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and diesel particulate being emitted by vehicles into the air daily. This problem is being compounded by a steady growth in sales of new vehicles which will result in a doubling of registrations in the period 1995 to 2000. The split of registrations, in terms of vehicle type, is unique to India, with a ratio of ten motorcycles to one automobile. The 2-and 3-wheel motorcycles have two-stroke engines and are major contributors to air pollution in cities.

The Government of India has taken steps to improve urban air quality by introducing legislation, applicable throughout India, requiring autocatalysts to be mandatory on all new cars and motorcycles sold from April 2000. The car legislation is similar to EEC Stage I legislation, whereas the emission limits being set for motorcycles will be among the most stringent in the world. On the Indian 2000 Drive Cycle, the emission limits for cars are: 2.72 g km1 for CO and 0.97 g km-1 for NOx; while for motorcycles the CO limit and the NOx limit are both 2.0 g km-1.

Catalysts have been required on all new cars sold in the metropolitan areas of New Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai (Madras) and Mumbai (Bombay) since April 1995, so infrastructure to supply/distribute unleaded gasoline to support the change to autocatalyst fitment already exists.

Johnson Matthey is establishing an autocatalyst manufacturing facility in New Dehli with the capability to produce 500,000 car catalysts and 1.5 million motorcycle catalysts per year. This plant, together with the new motorcycle emission-testing facility at the Autocatalyst Technical Centre in the U.K. supporting Indian motorcycle manufacturers, will enable Johnson Matthey to contribute positively to clean air in India.

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