Analysis of model Pd- and Pt-containing contaminants in aqueous media using ESI-MS and the fragment partitioning approach (Abstract, Leonid V. Romashov, Gleb D. Rukhovichb and Valentine P. Ananikov, RSC Advances, Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dec. 7, 2015)
Also discussed here: What happens with the environment when your car moves? (ScienceDaily. Jan.13 2016)
Today we review research from Russia into the inadvertent release of toxic metals from catalytic converters (or autocatalyst as it is termed here) which convert exhaust gases such as NOx, CO and other dangerous compounds to CO2, water and nitrogen. However, contact with water leaches the precious metals such as paladium, platinum and rhodium into toxic clusters – how toxic must be evaluated in the future but may put into question the role of the converters.
“Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and other dangerous compounds are contained in the exhaustive gas mixture”
“every modern car is equipped with autocatalyst, which converts exhaustive gases to non-toxic water, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The operation of autocatalyst is based on the catalytic reaction, which takes place on the surface of precious metals, namely palladium, platinum and rhodium.”
“contact with water facilitates simple platinum and palladium salts to aggregate into various clusters -- chemical species, which contain more than one metal atom. It is an important observation, since toxicity of clusters can significantly exceed toxicity of simple salts. Therefore, eco-toxicological danger of environmental pollution by heavy metals should become a crucial topic nowadays.”
“The unavoidable release of transition metal species to the environment and their contact with water give rise to the poisoning of ecosystems by heavy metal compounds”
“The study has revealed a critical danger of metal contamination due to easy formation of transition metal clusters, which may be much more toxic than corresponding monometallic complexes.”