A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction).

Catalytic converter prototypes were first designed in France at the end of the 19th century, when only a few thousand "oil cars" were on the roads; it was constituted of an inert material coated with platinum, iridium, and palladium, sealed into a double metallic cylinder.

Catalytic converters were further developed by a series of engineers including Carl D. Keith, John J. Mooney, Antonio Eleazar, and Phillip Messina at Engelhard Corporation, creating the first production catalytic converter in 1973.

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