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BASF announces next-generation PremAir® NXT catalyst

13 January 2015

BASF has announced the commercial launch of PremAir® NXT, a next-generation direct ozone reduction (DOR) catalytic coating technology targeting US Tier 3 and California LEV III applications.

The PremAir NXT catalyst is applied to the external surfaces of automotive radiators to convert ambient ozone into oxygen. The next generation PremAir NXT provides increased durability and higher ozone conversion performance over the lifetime of a vehicle compared to the standard PremAir® coating technology, said BASF, but no technical details were provided.

While the technology has no impact on tailpipe emissions, under the US and California emission standards, manufacturers receive emission credits when certifying vehicles equipped with DOR technologies. The next-generation coating is intended to increase the catalyst performance and maintain the credits over the increased regulatory emission durability periods, despite the trend toward smaller automotive engines and smaller radiators.

US Tier 3 and California LEV III regulations require automotive manufacturers to meet more stringent standards across their entire fleet, eventually achieving a fleet average of 30 mg/mile of NMOG+NOx emissions by 2025. These regulations also increased the emission durability requirements to 150,000 miles. The PremAir NXT technology can provide a 5 mg/mile NMOG+NOx emission credit towards vehicle certification.

The PremAir technology was first commercialized by BASF (Engelhard at the time) in 1999 on selected Volvo car models sold in the United States. The technology involved placing a base metal, Mn-based catalytic coating on the car’s radiator or air conditioner condenser. As ambient air passes over the catalyzed radiator, the O3 is converted into O2. Ozone conversion efficiencies of about 50-75% were found by studies conducted in the late 1990s.

BASF PremAir coating has been used in more than three million vehicles.

Source: BASF