Loughborough University academics win acclaimed award for technology that reduces harmful diesel emissions

A Loughborough University professor and a research associate that have developed revolutionary emission technology have had their hard work acknowledged in the Autocar Awards 2018.

Professor Graham Hargrave and Research Associate Jonathan Wilson.

Professor Graham Hargrave and Research Associate Jonathan Wilson.

Professor Graham Hargrave, of the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, and Jonathan Wilson received the coveted Sturmey Award last night (Tuesday) at a gala ceremony held in Silverstone’s iconic Wing complex.

Named after Autocar’s founding editor, Henry Sturmey, the award celebrates innovation and achievement in the motor industry.

Professor Hargrave, an internationally acclaimed expert on the optimisation of combustion engines, and Research Associate Jonathan won the accolade for their development of Ammonia Creation and Conversion Technology (ACCT).

ACCT has the potential to significantly cut harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in diesel engines and works by effectively increasing the capacity of existing on engine after treatment systems.

Currently, almost all new diesel vehicles are fitted with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to try and remove NOx produced by combustion. This system uses AdBlue™ to safely provide the ammonia required to reduce NOx into harmless nitrogen and water.

The drawback is that AdBlue™ only functions well at high exhaust temperatures, typically in excess of 250ºC. Therefore, the SCR does not necessarily operate at all engine conditions, for example, during short, stop-start commutes, particularly in urban areas or on construction sites. What’s more, use of AdBlue™ at these problematic lower temperatures can result in severe exhaust blockages and subsequent engine damage.

ACCT is an AdBlue™ conversion technology that uses waste energy to modify AdBlue™ to work effectively at these lower exhaust temperatures. By greatly extending the temperature range at which SCR systems can operate, the new technology significantly enhances existing NOx reduction systems.

Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw said: “The innovation which Professor Graham Hargrave and Research Associate Jonathan Wilson from Loughborough University have developed solves a massive, urgent problem with diesel engines that has been holding back the whole industry.

“It’s so elegant that car technologists over the world have been staring at one another in confusion since its capabilities were revealed. If ACCT develops as promised, our winners' invention offers nothing less than a new lease of life for modern diesel engines.”

Commenting on the ACCT award success, Jonathan Wilson said: “We were incredibly pleased to receive the Sturmey Award from Autocar last night; it’s wonderful to receive recognition for a technology we hope will positively benefit public health and quality of life.”

For more information on the Autocar Awards 2018, click here. To learn more about ACCT – which was also named the 2017 Technological Innovation of the Year by Times Higher Education – visit the dedicated webpage

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 18/73

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

About Autocar

Autocar is the essential news, reviews, entertainment and reference title for committed car buyers and enthusiasts everywhere.

It specialises in revealing the secrets of new cars, while its famous road tests are used by the industry and consumers alike as the authoritative benchmark.

Autocars readers are recognised as the most influential in the UK. The knowledge they glean from the magazine and pass on leads to thousands of car purchases a year.

Autocar now has 13 editions worldwide, with a UK circulation of 30,753 and its fast-growing website has over 1.8m monthly unique users, generating 8.8m page views per month.

Meanwhile, Autocars YouTube channel has become the most authoritative motoring video site in the world, garnering more than 250 million views and over 600,000 subscribers.