December 7 2006.
F.C.C. Co., which manufactures clutches for motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles, has devised a catalytic converter made from paper for cleaning motorcycle exhaust.
The company hopes to have a commercial product ready by 2010 that is inexpensive enough to be used even on scooters.
Car catalytic converters are made from ceramics, but motorcycles use converters made from nickel and other metals that can better withstand vibrations. However, these devices are heavy, and the high price of the metals has limited their use to larger motorcycles.
Emission standards are becoming stricter even for scooters, so F.C.C. anticipates demand for its new paper catalytic converter.
The device is made by mixing in platinum and other precious metals during the papermaking process. F.C.C. applies manufacturing technologies adapted from the techniques it uses to make friction materials for clutches.
The paper-based catalytic converter is easy to process, lightweight and can withstand vibrations. And it can be built into the muffler to clean exhaust.
F.C.C. expects its first customer to be Honda Motor Co., its leading shareholder.

Source: The Nikkei Business Daily