NOx emissions are the primary cause of smog in major cities around the world and a growing public health concern.
Exposure to NOx and particulate matter emissions from diesel engines lead to more than 50 thousand deaths in the UK annually. Currently almost all new diesel vehicles are fitted with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to remove NOx produced by combustion. These systems, however, typically only work well at high exhaust temperatures, typically in excess of 250ºC.
With many vehicles doing short stop/start journeys, many engines never reach the optimal temperature required for the SCR systems to operate efficiently. The result is excessive NOx being released into the environment, especially in large cities.
In this project, we aim to develop a new technology that allows high efficiency NOx conversion in cold-start and real-world driving conditions.
The Thermofluids Research Group in the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University have many years’ of experience in the development of after-treatment systems for passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicle applications. Current projects include the analysis and development of selective catalytic reduction systems (SCR) for NOx removal from engine exhausts.
Using waste heat we will transform AdBlue into a new ammonia creating solution that allows high efficiency NOx conversion even at low temperatures.
The research has led to an award-winning Ammonia Creation and Conversion Technology (ACCT) technology that enables the SCR systems to work at temperatures as low as 60oC. This means that the NOx reduction system remains active through the whole real-world driving cycle, leading to significant reductions in tailpipe emissions.
Professor Graham Hargrave - Professor of Optical Diagnostics
“We are very proud of this technology. It is an industry first and we are engaging with industry to take this technology to market.”