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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 23 (2018) pp 31-34

A Gas-Reaction Apparatus Fabricated Using Readily Available Components for Demonstrating the Basic Function of Automotive Catalyst

Ryo Horikoshi*,†, Fumitaka Takeiri, Yoji Kobayashi, Hiroshi Kageyama

Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Faculty of Design Technology, Osaka Sangyo University, Nakagaito, Daito, Osaka 574-8530, Japan,; Department of Energy & Hydrocarbon Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan
Received November 21, 2017. Accepted February 12, 2018.

Published: 5 March 2018

Abstract. A gas-reaction apparatus for demonstrating how automotive catalysts oxidize hydrocarbon fuel residuals generated by incomplete fuel combustion has been fabricated from readily available components, i.e., a plastic syringe filled with a mixture of butane and air, a platinized fiberglass catalyst in a Pyrex tube, and a plastic syringe containing a small amount of color-change glue. The platinized fiberglass catalyst, removed from a commercially available lighter-fuel-powered hand-warmer, converts the mixture of butane and air into carbon dioxide and water. The generated gases are detected by the color-change glue, which contains an acid–base indicator.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; inorganic chemistry; catalysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (262 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Detailed instructions for the construction of the gas-reaction apparatus, notes for instructors, student handouts, and elemental analyses of the metallized fiberglass catalysts obtained using EDX are available in the Supporting Material. (903 KB)

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