catalytic converter

noun
an antipollution device in an automotive exhaust system that contains a catalyst for chemically converting some pollutants in the exhaust gases, as carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen, into harmless compounds.

Origin:
1960–65

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World English Dictionary
catalytic converter
 
n
Sometimes shortened to: catcon a device using three-way catalysts to reduce the obnoxious and poisonous components of the products of combustion (mainly oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and unburnt hydrocarbons) from the exhausts of motor vehicles

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Example sentences
The modern fuel injection system works with a three-way catalytic converter to
  cut pollution.
And its catalytic converter largely eliminates smog-forming nitrogen oxides.
The catalytic converter on your exhaust system contains cerium and lanthanum.
The addition of low sulphur fuel and upcoming catalytic converter technology
  make diesel the way to go.
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