7 July 2004
Toyota and Shell Gas & Power announced the launch of a trial of Shell Gas to Liquids (GTL) fuel in a fleet of 10 Toyota Avensis cars equipped with D-CAT emission reduction technology. The Driving Tomorrow’s Clean Technology trial is part of a joint Toyota/Shell research program to develop new vehicle and fuel technologies.
During the trial, the GTL fueled cars will be driven by the British Red Cross, Shelter, Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital Trust and the Energy Saving Trust in the London area.
Shell GTL is a synthetic fuel, derived from natural gas through the Fischer-Tropsch type of process. GTL fuels can be manufactured with excellent properties and combustion characteristics. They are also virtually free of sulfur—a critically important property when used with NOx adsorber technology.
Toyota Diesel Clean Advanced Technology (D-CAT, also known as the DPNR) is a combined particulate filter and NOx adsorber technology, simultaneously reducing both PM and NOx emissions in diesel exhaust. The regeneration of the NOx adsorber involves a complex strategy including such components as exhaust injection of fuel, late injection of fuel in the cylinder, and low temperature combustion. A 4% fuel economy penalty is associated with operating the system.
Toyota has been developing the D-CAT system for several years. One of the major problems with NOx adsorbers is durability, especially if sulfur is present in the fuel. Toyota D-CAT Avensis cars have been commercially available in selected markets with ultra low sulfur fuels in the UK and Germany. The total number of D-CAT Avensis automobiles that have been sold has not been revealed by Toyota, but industry observers estimate it at 100-200 cars.