Difference between Muffler and Catalytic converter [with Pdf]

The main difference between the muffler and catalytic converter is that the catalytic converter is used to reduce the harmful gases from the exhaust while the muffler helps to reduce the loud noise of the engine.

Before differentiating catalytic converter vs muffler let’s discuss each of them in brief.



The muffler is the component of the exhaust system that helps to reduce the noise generated by the engine. The muffler helps to absorb the sound waves of the exhaust. The exhaust enters into the muffler from the perforated pipe. The muffler has baffles that are arranged in such a way that the waves of the sound cancel each other due to destructive interference.

Catalytic converter:

catalytic converter

The catalytic converter is the component of the exhaust system that helps to reduce the harmful gases to be released into the atmosphere. It consists of the honeycomb structure plated with platinum, rhodium, or palladium. The exhaust of the engine is passed through the pores of the honeycomb structure. The catalytic converter does the reduction and oxidation of harmful gases to convert them into harmless products like CO2, water, N2, etc.

Difference between Muffler and Catalytic converter:

Sr. No.Points MufflerCatalytic converter
1PurposeThe purpose of the muffler is to reduce the louder sound of the engine.The catalytic converter is used for the conversion of harmful exhaust gases (HC, CO, NOx) into harmless products (H20, N2, CO2).
2PrincipleThe sound waves are canceled out by the destructive interferenceThe device uses reduction and oxidation reactions for the conversion of harmful gases into harmless gases.
3Type of processIt is based on the physical process of destructive interference.It is a chemical process.
4ConstructionIt is made up of perforated pipes and baffles.It consists of a honeycomb structure coated with platinum, rhodium, and palladium.
5WorkingThe exhaust gas is passed through the perforated tubes and the baffles to reduce the noise.Exhaust gas is passed through the small pores of the honeycomb structure.
6 MaterialIt is generally made up of aluminized steel, cast iron, etc.The major metals used in the catalytic converter are platinum, rhodium, palladium.
7LocationIt is located at the end of the exhaust system.It is located between the engine and muffler.
8CostThe cost of the muffler is lesser in comparison with the catalytic converter.The catalytic converter is expensive equipment because of the presence of platinum, rhodium, etc.
9LifeFor average running condition, it has life around 4 to 5 years.It works effectively for10 to 20 years.
10Signs of failureThe indications are loud noise, lowering of fuel economy, etc.Rattling noise and misfire of engine
11Cause of failureDue to the moisture, it gets corrodedIt fails due to overheating, choking, contamination, etc.

Pratik is a Graduated Mechanical engineer. He enjoys sharing the engineering knowledge learned by him with people.

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