‘Diesel saving technology could make the market in two years

A simple, affordable, and seemingly infallible solution to the problem that has led to the current worldwide “demonization” of the diesel engines — emissions-of-life limitation of NOx — has been discovered by a British team of automotive research specialists from the University of Loughborough.

The system, called ACCT (ammonia-the creation and conversion technology), which has reached a promising stage in which the creators are being besieged by the car manufacturers, component suppliers, and even owners of large diesel fleets that have heard about the innovation and are desperate to use it to solve what they see as the motor, the problem is more urgent.

The team — led by Graham Hargrave, professor of optical diagnostics, and Jonathan Wilson, research associate — has been working on the exhaust of missions for many years, but achieved his breakthrough in the last two.

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From its current state, the ACCOUNT should be fairly easy for the engineer, the team believes, and could reach production within two years “with the right support”.

In essence, the system converts AdBlue®, the universally available urea-based after treatment, in particular ammonia-rich, ‘ACCT fluid” under accurately controlled conditions in an exhaust mounted on the camera.

As the current, the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, then use ammonia liberated “, literally, to rip NOx aside”, leaving only nitrogen and water. The fundamental difference between the two systems is that ACCT liquid keeps working at a high efficiency at the low exhaust temperature conditions to the current challenge of systems.

Preliminary tests in a city based on the start stop Skoda taxi indicate that ACCT can capture 98% of the exhaust-borne NOx, in comparison with 60% for the same car running a conventional EU6 system — even before the researchers had the opportunity to ‘fine tune’ the system ACCOUNT for the best performance.

Experts with knowledge of the development are beginning to talk in terms of “virtually zero emissions” diesel engine and quoting ACCT to be even more important than the arrival of the common-rail diesel.

In the last decade, NOx has become an infamous problem. Is born by the fact that the diesel engines be more efficient, run more, but this increases the heat of your NOx. The effect has led to a rapid increase in the consciousness of NOx in the detrimental effect on health; the European trend of research suggests that shortens 71,000 lives per year.

From 2014, the practice of the injection of diesel exhaust through an SCR with AdBlue ® exhaust catalysts has been shown to be effective in most situations and has dramatically reduced the average NOx outputs. But, as the Loughborough researchers point out, the gaps in the SCR effectiveness of the stay – in particular when low exhaust temperatures prevent complete decomposition of AdBlue, as when the vehicle is idling in traffic, especially in stop-start conditions. NOx outputs rise when the SCR does not work well, and that is the root of the recent reports that up to new-car exhaust, sometimes, produce multiples of the permitted levels of NOx.

As Hargrave explained that there is a profound irony in this. While NOx has grabbed the headlines, CO2 is still killing the planet. “NOx is serious,” he said, “but it is really a point of the source of the problem. It is important only in a small minority of places.

“Resolve and can be obtained with the reduction of CO2, which is important in all parts.”

Due to concerns about NOx emissions, Europe’s diesel market is close to chaos. Sales of oil-burning cars have fallen by 20%, putting pressure on the margins and the infrastructure. A shift to more CO2-heavy gasoline vehicles means that the CO2 targets are being missed — in the same time that these goals are about to tighten.

For light commercial vehicles, there is no realistic prospect of the reduction of diesel use in the short term. Market experts do not believe that the buyers will entertain a quick change of small gasoline engines or hybrids. For heavy goods vehicles, the situation is much worse.

While the engines of the cars are ‘sent back’ in NOx and only need light doses of AdBlue, the truck will require much more.

In the cold exhaust conditions (in winter, for example), the lack of breakdown of AdBlue leaves of damage and almost irremovable escape of the deposits in the complex of the exhaust systems that reduce the consumption of energy, and even immobilize trucks completely. Understandably, the market in the defeat of the devices for the Trucks is very lively.

The team from Loughborough says that now you need heavy-weight technology partner to take ACCOUNT of the production but is wary that the transfer of valuable intellectual property rights cheap.

The negotiations between the university of IP specialists and future partners are in full swing. “Our feeling is that we need a major provider, instead of a single manufacturer,” said Hargrave.

What COUNTS is the path to the market, a growing number of potential users are desperate to see their progress. This could lead to a new lease of life for the diesel engines.

How it happened

If you ACCOUNT for the changes in the diesel engines, as seems likely, it will be because Wilson decided to do a Phd at Loughborough University. Hargrave, their teacher, explains: “We have known for decades there was a problem of NOx with AdBlue and low temperatures. Jonathan had an idea that could solve the problem, but need the opportunity to develop it, so we went to the university and organized an internal scholarship. He had worked on a similar theme, through her college years.

“That work made it clear that if someone is going to solve this problem, it would be Jonathan. So that said here the lab and the money. You just have to go and do the work. And it did…”

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