What is a catalytic combuster? In simple terms it's a smoke burner, a device placed in the smoke path just before it exits the stove. To the catalyst, smoke is fuel to be burned. By burning the smoke, additional heat is created and far less pollution, beyond carbon dioxide and water vapor, remains to go up the chimney. It's the best of both worlds: more heat and less pollution.
Smoke normally burns at around 1,000 degrees F., a temperature seldom achieved in a conventional stove.
The catalyst is a honeycombed ceramic product that is coated with a precious metal, either platinum or paladium, which enables the smoke to start burning as low as 500 degrees F. As it burns, it raises the temperature in the immediate vicinity of the catalyst, making it even more efficient, until the smoke is completely burned.