The history of Johnson Matthey's Emission Control Technologies (ECT) business.

1950

In the 1950s automotive exhaust emissions were identified as a major cause of smog in Los Angeles. In 1955 the US Congress passes the Air Pollution Act.

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1956

British government passes Clean Air Act

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1961

International Clean Air Congress held in London

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1963

US Congress passes Clean Air Act

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1965

The US Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act (amends the Clean Air Act) set the first federal emissions standards to control pollution from cars.

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1969

Johnson Matthey R&D to develop autocatalysts for 1970 US Clean Air Act

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1970

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is formed. Congress passes a major revision of the Clean Air Act.

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1970

General Motors promises ‘pollution free’ cars by 1980 and urges the elimination of lead additives from gasoline in order to allow the use of catalytic converters.

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1971

Johnson Matthey files a patent covering the use of rhodium promoted platinum catalysts to control NOx and gaseous organic compounds.

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1972

Environmental Protection Agency announces all gasoline stations require to carry ‘unleaded’ gasoline

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1972

Corning develops cordierite ceramics with high temperature and thermal shock resistance for catalyst monoliths.

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1972

Johnson Matthey proves to the EPA that the US emissions regulations can be met using rhodium-platinum catalysts.

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1972

Johnson Matthey and Ricardo demonstrate the first catalyst-equipped car to meet US standards at 50,000 miles. First contract with Volkswagen.

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1974

The first catalysts with 200 cells per square inch (cpsi) and walls 0.3 mm thick, are shipped to automotive manufacturers.

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1974

Johnson Matthey production plants open in Royston, UK and Pennsylvania, USA.

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1975

The first cars fitted with oxidation catalysts reach showrooms in the USA. Unleaded petrol is widely available.

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1976

Federal court says EPA has authority to regulate leaded gasoline. By June 1979 nearly half all US gasoline is unleaded.

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1976

Japanese vehicle emissions standards come into effect.

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1977

Johnson Matthey receives its first Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement for the development of platinum-rhodium catalysts.

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1977

US Clean Air Act amendments agreed to tighten emissions standards further from 1981 onwards

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1980

Johnson Matthey wins the MacRobert Award for Engineering for the development of catalyst systems for controlling vehicle exhaust emissions.

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1981

Three-way-catalysts (TWC) introduced to meet the strict new emissions standards under the amended Clean Air Act.

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1983

UK Government commits to introduce unleaded gasoline by 1990.

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1989

The European Community (EC) confirms new standards effectively mandating catalysts from January 1993.

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1990

VW Golf is world’s first diesel car with factory-fitted oxidation catalyst.

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1990

Johnson Matthey plant opens in Brussels, Belgium, to serve the EU market.

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1990

Johnson Matthey files a patent for the Continuously Regenerating Trap (CRT®) filter technology.

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1991

New legislation introduced in Japan sets more stringent vehicle NOx emissions limits.

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1992

Johnson Matthey plant opens in Germiston, Johannesburg, South Africa. First EU legislation introduced to restrict diesel emissions.

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1993

Johnson Matthey opens manufacturing and technical facilities in Japan.

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1993

Euro 1 emissions standards that require the use of catalytic converters come into effect.

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1994

Phase-in of Tier 1 emissions standards for light duty vehicles begins in USA.

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1994

Johnson Matthey opens new manufacturing facilities in Querétaro, Mexico.

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1995

Johnson Matthey launches Continuously Regenerating Trap (CRT®) retrofit technology for controlling emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles.

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1996

Euro 2 emissions standards are introduced requiring the use of diesel oxidation catalysts.

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1996

Johnson Matthey develops CRT® technology to meet emissions legislation for the light duty diesel market.

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1996

Johnson Matthey opens plant in Nilai, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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1997

Johnson Matthey opens plant in Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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1999

National Low Emissions Vehicle (NLEV) standards take effect in the USA.

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1999

Johnson Matthey new plant opens in Royston, UK

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1999

Johnson Matthey receives Millennium Product Award for CRT® technology

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2000

EU emissions standards for all petrol and diesel road vehicles become more stringent with the introduction of Euro 3/III emissions standards.

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2000

Johnson Matthey opens plant in Manesar, India.

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2000

Johnson Matthey awarded Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award for the development and commercialisation of CRT® technology.

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2001

Johnson Matthey opens plant in Shanghai, China

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2001

Phase-in of Tier 2 US emissions standards for non-road engines begins.

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2002

Honda Foundation Award – for autocatalyst development and the work contributed to this by Dr Barry Cooper

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2003

Strict particulate matter (PM) limits introduced for heavy duty diesel (HDD) vehicles requiring the use of retrofit catalysed particulate filters.

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2004

Phase in of US Tier II emissions standards begins. Tier II complaint vehicles are up to 99% cleaner than vehicles sold in the 1960s.

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2004

China introduces legislation equivalent to Euro 2 across the whole country.

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2004

Johnson Matthey starts production of autocatalysts in Kitsuregawa, Japan.

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2005

Japanese Post-New Long Term (PNLT) emissions standards for heavy duty diesel engines introduced with full implementation by 2009.

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2005

Euro 4/IV emissions standards for light and heavy duty vehicles are introduced. Exhaust aftertreatment required on European heavy duty vehicles for the first time.

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2006

Phase-in of Stage IIIA Euro emissions standards for non-road engines begins.

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2006

Phase-in of Tier 3 US emissions standards for non-road engines begins.

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2007

Phase-in period of US emissions standards for heavy duty diesel engines begins. Tighter PM limits means diesel particulate filters (DPFs) are fitted to new vehicles for the first time.

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2007

Johnson Matthey announces plan to build two new catalyst plants in Macedonia and USA.

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2008

New catalysed soot filter manufacturing plant opens in Royston.

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2008

Johnson Matthey opens an autocatalyst facility in Korea – its fifth in the Asian Region.

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2008

Johnson Matthey finalises the acquisition of ceramics and catalysts company, Argillon.

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2008

Euro V emissions standards for heavy duty diesel engines are introduced.

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2008

Phase-in of Tier 4 US emissions standards for non-road engines is introduced.

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2008

Euro 5 & 6 emissions standards for light duty vehicles are officially published.

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2008

Johnson Matthey opens an autocatalyst plant in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

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2009

Johnson Matthey wins two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in both the Innovation and International Trade categories.

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2010

New emission control catalyst manufacturing facilities are opened in Macedonia, Smithfield in the USA and Shanghai, China.

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2011

Phase-in of Stage IIIB European emissions standards for non-road engines begins.

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2012

Johnson Matthey products appear in the Make it in Great Britain exhibition which celebrated the importance and success of British manufacturing.

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2013

Euro VI Heavy Duty Diesel emissions legislation is introduced.

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2013

Expansion of Johnson Matthey facilities in Macedonia.

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2014

Euro 6 emission standards are introduced in September. Phase-in of Stage IIIB Euro emissions standards for non-road engines.

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2014

Johnson Matthey wins the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.

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2014

Johnson Matthey celebrates 40 years of autocatalyst production in Royston.

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2015

Expansion of Johnson Matthey’s facilities in Royston is completed.

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