When I first started visiting wood stove stores, I was surprised to see many wood stoves labeled as “catalytic.” Wasn’t that the kind of device my car has in it, a catalytic converter? And here standing before me was a row of catalytic wood stoves?
Well, as I thought about it for a few moments, I realized that I should not have been surprised after all, because the same technology was being employed for the same purpose, just in a wood stove rather than an automobile. The purpose of the catalytic converter in a car is to convert noxious byproducts of combustion into less noxious ones by means of a chemical reaction, reducing the amount of harmful exhaust. In the catalytic converter a ceramic honeycomb-like core is coated with a precious metal catalyst, usually platinum, palladium, or rhodium.