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The catalyst itself, most often a precious metal. Platinum is the most active catalyst and is widely used. However, it is not suitable for all applications because of unwanted additional reactions and/or cost. Palladium and rhodium are two other precious metals that are used. Rhodium is the material that makes a three-way reaction possible, while palladium is very popular as a substitute for platinum in three-way catalytic converters. Cerium, iron, manganese and nickel are also used, though each has its own limitations. Nickel is not legal for use in the European Union (due to nickel hydrate formation). While copper can be used, its use is illegal in North America due to the formation of dioxin.
This actually is possible, but only if you apply it to a rotary engine.
We're still talking about milliseconds and small surface area, aren't we?