TOKYO, July 27 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co. (7201.T) said on Friday it has developed a catalyst for gasoline cars that halves the use of precious metal components to clean tail-pipe emissions, promising big cost savings amid high commodity prices.
Japan’s third-biggest automaker employed nano-technology to prevent clustering of the fine metal particles present in catalysts under high temperature conditions, enabling the use of less material to clean exhaust emissions.
Automotive catalysts use a mix of platinum, rhodium and palladium to trigger a chemical reaction with polluting nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to create non-toxic compounds.
The technology, which will be shared with French partner Renault SA (RENA.PA), will be introduced in a new vehicle slated for launch in the second half of the business year ending in March 2009, and expanded into other models, Nissan said in a statement.
Automakers have been hurt by rising commodity prices, booking bigger-than-expected raw material expenses for the latest quarter.
Average platinum prices during April-June rose 9 percent from a year-earlier, rhodium jumped 24 percent and palladium climbed 6 percent, according to Platinum Today.
((Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, editing by Malcolm Whittaker; firstname.lastname@example.org; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com; +81 3 5473 3744)) Keywords: NISSAN CATALYST/
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