Look at any map of where and what crimes take place in Burnaby and you’ll see that it’s dominated by thefts from vehicles.
And just what are thieves stealing from vehicles? Well, aside from spare changes, catalytic converters are high on the list for criminals.
These devices are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and they are filled with precious metals that can be sold for quick cash. Stealing one can apparently be done in less than 60 seconds.
A Burnaby company, Aether Catalyst Solutions, has developed a patent pending catalyst (catalytic converter) for automotive emissions that contains no precious metals.
A direct replacement for over $20 billion of platinum-group metals at a fraction of the cost, which could be a platinum, palladium market changer.
"As the prices of the precious metals inside a catalytic converter continue to soar, Aether’s new low-cost technology will not only help reduce the cost of exhaust gas purification, but also put an end to the increasing number of catalytic converter thefts," Aether's VP of research Greg James told me.
The company’s original funding of $195,000, ending Dec. 31, 2019, has been extended to March 31, 2020 and amended to $232,500 through the federal National Research Council.
The extension and amendment were specifically granted by the NRC to fund the company in completing more testing.
Hopefully, this testing goes well. It sounds like a device that could help solve a terrible crime problem.