Catalytic converters have come into common use with the millions of automobiles on the road these days, greatly reducing their emissions of unburnt fuel and NOx. Because the converter is outside the engine, the considerable amounts of heat they produce is waste.
After learning catalytic converters are also being used on indoor propane heaters and even wood stoves, could they be installed on jet flame cans?
Platinum/palladium catalytic heaters require only sufficient fuel vapor and a certain amount of heat to complete combustion of hydrocarbons and other byproducts to CO2, H2O, and N2.
As seen with woodstoves and propane heaters, the amount of fuel usage is significantly less than flame alone (which makes much more shorter wavelength visible light).
For example, per BTU, a catalytic heater running on gasoline (fumes) burns around 30% less fuel (observed by the writer) than even a ceramic plate propane heater (with a constantly lit pilot flame).
With the jet, added heat from the converter should increase thrust per pound of fuel burned. I dare say catalytic afterburners might be awesome.
Has any of this been tried?