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If I understand the Lean NOx Catalyst Function correctly, the Insight uses the lean burn operation to in the end, converts the HC and CO to catalyze the NO2 (that has been stored) into harmless nitrogen gas (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H20).

When this is done you got a little burst of speed.

This makes me think, that the Insight could be mod. to run on nitrogen gas?

James
 

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I think you might have it backward. When the engine is in lean burn, you get less power but more mpg's. Emissions also increase in this mode because the cat is not heated enough to do it's job. When the car leaves lean burn to clean out the cat, then you get the surge of power that you describe.
 

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I think kapps is correct...

my understanding is:

Lean Burn is more efficient combustion of the fuel ..... but uses less fuel per engine cycle ... thus the increase in MPG during Lean Burn.... but becuase it uses less fuel you get less power during Lean Burn..... But Lean Burn produces more NOx which is mostly trapped in the emmissions system .... so every once in a while the Engine leaves Lean Burn ... and burns a more fuel rich mix.... this is a less efficient combustion of the fuel so more of the fuel leaves the combustion chamber to go to the emmissions system where it there "flushes" the Stored NOx when the unburned fuel reacts with the NOx.... but becuase you are now useing more fuel... even though you are getting less from each gallon of it you get more power...

Oddly enough... The Insight uses Lean Burn for better Fuel Economy but produces more NOx during it.... Regular Burn as a middle ground of Fuel Economy and Emissions ... and Rich Burn for the least fuel economy but the most power per Engine Cycle.
 
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