The concept of nonfaradaic electrochem. modification of catalytic activity (NEMCA) was applied for the in situ control of catalytic activity of a rhodium film deposited on YSZ (yttria stabilized zirconia) solid electrolyte towards redn. of 1000 ppm NO by 1000 ppm C3H6 in presence of excess (5000 ppm) O2 at 300 Deg. A temporary heating at this feed compn. results in a long-lasting deactivation of the catalyst under open circuit conditions due to partial oxidn. of the rhodium surface. Pos. current application (5 mA) over both the active and the deactivated catalysts gives rise to an enhancement of N2 and CO2 prodn., the latter exceeding several hundred times the faradaic rate. While active rhodium exhibits a reversible behavior, electrochem. promotion on the deactivated catalyst is composed of a reversible and an irreversible part. The reversible promotion results from the steady-state accumulation of current-generated active species at the gas exposed catalyst surface whereas the irreversible effect is due to the progressive redn. of the catalyst resulting in an increased recovery rate of lost catalytic activity. The results are encouraging with respect to application of rhodium for the catalytic removal of NO from auto-exhaust gases under lean-burn conditions. [on SciFinder (R)]