Stiff federal controls on carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions, scheduled to take hold on 1975 model cars, have been a migraine for the automakers. But for Milton Rosenthal, a lawyer who is chief executive of Engelhard Minerals & Chemicals Corp., Washington's demand for cleaner air could produce a bonanza. Engelhard makes a catalytic converter—a steel cylinder containing a platinum-treated honeycomb structure—that changes some toxic gases into harmless substances. The converter, which costs less than $50, shows strong evidence of enabling the automakers to meet the Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Various companies...

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