August 20, 2012
Clean Tech Catalyst Could Cut Diesel Engine Emissions By Nearly Half
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
A new catalyst, developed by US researchers and marketed by a California-based clean technology company, can reportedly reduce greenhouse gases produced by diesel-powered vehicles by as much as 45%.According to Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) reports, University of Texas, Dallas materials science and engineering professor Kyeongjae "KJ" Cho and colleagues claim that they have identified an oxide that could reduce pollution levels caused by diesel vehicles by as much as 45%.
The material in question is a synthetic version of the oxide mullite, and the researchers say that by using it to replace the rarer, more expensive metal platinum in diesel engines, it could drastically reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides produced during the combustion process. That is the idea behind the Noxicat catalyst, which is being produced by the Silicon Valley firm Nanostellar, Inc., and is the topic of a paper published in the August 2012 edition of the journal Science.
"Many pollution control and renewable-energy applications require precious metals that are limited - there isn't enough platinum to supply the millions and millions of automobiles driven in the world," Cho said, according to an article published by the IANS on Sunday. "Mullite is not only easier to produce than platinum, but also better at reducing pollution in diesel engines."
In an August 18 press release, Geoffrey McCool, inventor of the material used by the catalyst, said that the synthetic mullite performs better than platinum without requiring the use of precious metals. It is also hydrothermally stable, more stable, and less expensive.
"In addition to significantly reducing the costs of emissions control systems, Noxicat has numerous performance benefits over the incumbent platinum based catalysts," Nanostellar President and CEO Pankaj Dhingra said in a statement. "Noxicat enables higher fuel efficiency by allowing engine designers to reduce the frequency of filter regeneration events and allows for redesign of the emissions control system for further optimization."
"Noxicat has created an unprecedented level of excitement among heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturers for both its performance benefits and its promise of significant cost reductions," added Dr. Bulent Yavuz, the company's vice president of sales and marketing. "The commercialization efforts received a further boost when customer testing revealed that Noxicat is able to regenerate itself after exposure to fuel-borne sulfur."