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SwRI announces ECTO-Lab catalyst testing facility

14 December 2017

The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) announced a new fully automated, multi-fuel burner facility for accelerated aging and evaluation of exhaust catalyst equipment for a range of engines. The Exhaust Component Transient Operation Laboratory™—ECTO-Lab™—uses SwRI-developed burner technology that is also available for purchase and installation at client facilities.

“SwRI’s ECTO-Lab provides the ultimate flexibility for catalyst and aftertreatment testing, accommodating full-sized catalysts from light-duty gasoline engines to large, heavy-duty diesel and natural gas engines,” said Dr. Cary Henry, who oversees SwRI’s catalyst and aftertreatment R&D activities. “Our newest ECTO-Lab technology offers an expanded flow range of up to 3,250 kg/hr allowing us to simulate exhaust from large stationary engines.”

The ECTO-Lab facility assesses the performance and durability of aftertreatment products, including catalytic converters for gasoline vehicles as well as diesel oxidation catalysts, diesel particulate filters, selective catalytic reduction catalysts and ammonia slip components.

Traditionally, aftertreatment tests have been conducted on engine test stands. SwRI’s burner-based approach can simulate the exhaust gas conditions for a variety of internal combustion engines, streamlining the evaluation of catalyst components and emission control systems and saving clients time and money. SwRI has also improved system controls, allowing precise control of low exhaust flow rates. This increased capability enables the ECTO-Lab technology to simulate engines as small as 1.5 L. This results in a system capable of replicating the exhaust gas profiles for engines from 1.5 L to 30 L.

The modular structure of the ECTO-Lab technology allows components to be added to the base combustor and water-to-air-heat exchanger to simulate stoichiometric or lean-burn multi-fuel engines. The technology can replicate transient exhaust traces for these engine applications.

Source: SwRI