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Catalytic Converters

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what research has been carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory on the problem of cold-start emissions from catalytic converters; [37011](2) what assessment he has made of the results of research undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory on the performance of catalytic converters in service in reducing harmful vehicle emissions. [37012]

The research carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory has confirmed that three-way catalytic converters reduce harmful emissions by around 80 per cent. However, this research has also shown that the emissions occurring during the first three minutes after the car is started from cold, approach those of cars which are not equipped with catalysts.Tighter standards applicable from 1 January 1997 will significantly improve catalyst warm-up times to reduce cold start emissions. Even tighter standards, now being proposed by the European Commission for 2000, coupled with changes to the certification test cycle, will encourage further improvements.