22 December 2011

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has settled with Süd-Chemie for $51,792 for selling illegal diesel filters. The filters were used on fixed emergency standby engines such as those used to generate emergency power in hospitals.

An ARB investigation showed that between 2008 and 2009, Süd-Chemie sold EnviCat diesel particulate filters that “did not conform to original specifications approved by ARB”. The settlement was reached in September 2011.

Technical details that have been disclosed are scarce. It appears that a magnesium nitrate catalyst precursor—not conforming with the verified specifications—was used in some filters installed on MY 2008 Cat 3516C engines during 2008 through April 2009. The regeneration temperature of the affected filters was higher than the advertised regeneration temperature for the verified filters.

The EnviCat filter is a passively regenerated device utilizing a wall-flow ceramic substrate coated with a precious metal-based catalyst. The filter has been verified by the ARB as a Level 3 device.

Süd-Chemie Corporation is headquartered in Munich, Germany. The filters were supplied by the Süd-Chemie plant in Needham, MA.

Under the settlement, $38,844 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality research, and $12,948 will go to the Peralta Community College District to help fund diesel education classes around the state.

Süd-Chemie has also agreed to meet the state’s requirements for diesel retrofits, to inspect and replace as necessary EnviCat diesel particulate filter units, and to notify local air districts of any concerns associated with the company’s failure to comply with the law. Süd-Chemie will also contact users of the product to make sure they are operating properly.

Source: California ARB