NOx Adsorbers

4 October 2001

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will provide funding for two research projects in the area of nitrogen oxides emission control from diesel engines. Valued at more than $20 million, the projects are part of the second round selections under the administration’s Ultra-Clean Fuels Initiative.

DOE funding for projects selected under the Ultra-Clean Fuels Initiative is being provided in a coordinated effort between the offices of Fossil Energy and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. No fossil energy projects are being funded at this time. The National Energy Technology Laboratory, which implements and oversees a wide range of fossil energy and environmental programs for DOE, will manage these projects as described below.

Honeywell Laboratories, Minneapolis, MN, will develop and test a sulfur-removal filter, which will be integrated into the fuel-delivery system of heavy-duty diesel vehicles to cut sulfur levels to 3 ppm. The project will develop desulfurization chemistries and format mechanisms for extracting sulfur from the fuel before combustion, and complete the filter’s performance and life-cycle testing. Integrating this filter into the vehicle fuel train upstream of the engine will reduce the adverse effects sulfur has on post-combustion NOx-control devices, such as NOx adsorber-catalysts.

Joining Honeywell in this project are filter developer Honeywell Consumer Products Group, fuel technology developer Marathon Ashland Petroleum, catalyst developer Johnson Matthey, CIDI engine manufacturer Mack Trucks Inc., filter recycler American Wastes Industries and fuel supplier Equilon, a joint venture between Shell and Texaco. Project duration: 36 months. Total cost: $2.4 million; DOE share: $1.56 million; participant share: $840,870 (35%).

General Motors Corporation, Detroit, MI, proposes to speed catalyst development to control nitrogen oxide emissions from light-duty diesel engines to levels required to meet Tier II emission standards that will be phased-in between 2004 and 2009. By adapting testing methods used in the pharmaceutical industry to rapidly screen large numbers of materials, GM plans to develop a better understanding of the basic material relationships that influence catalyst function, which, in turn, will lead to the discovery of more promising NOx-removal materials. Stringent testing and evaluations will be conducted on selected materials.

Project partners are Engelhard, emission control catalyst manufacturer, Iselin, NJ; Los Alamos National Laboratory, optical instruments developer, Los Alamos, NM; Exxon Mobil, fuel supplier, Annandale, NJ; and Molecular Simulations Inc., software and database developer, San Diego, CA. Project duration: 41 months. Total cost: $18.38 million; DOE share: $11.95 million; proposer share: $6.43 million (35%).

Source: DOE