Pressure on the vehicle manufacturing industry is mounting. Under the new European legislation, car makers must cut their average fleet emissions to less than 95 grammes of CO2 per kilometre by 2021. Failure to comply means a €95 fine for every gramme of CO2 that exceeds the target – which means that the whole industry could face a penalty of up to €30bn.
New diesel vehicles are fitted with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to treat NOx emissions. This system uses AdBlue™ to provide the ammonia required to reduce harmful NOx into harmless nitrogen and water. However, AdBlue™ only functions well at high temperatures, typically exceeding 250ºC. Therefore, the SCR does not necessarily operate at all engine conditions, for example, during short stop-start commutes, particularly in urban areas. What’s more, use of AdBlue™ at lower temperatures can result in severe exhaust blockages and subsequent engine damage.
Researchers at Loughborough University have developed a novel AdBlue™ conversion technology that transforms AdBlue™ into a new ACCT solution that can produce ammonia at very low exhaust temperatures. By extending the temperature range at which SCR systems can operate much greater NOx reduction can be achieved. The ACCT solution also has a significant increased response time, allowing much greater NOx reduction during challenging, real-world conditions.
The technology is patented in the UK and applications submitted in other territories. Commercialisation activity to bring the technology to market is underway, and it has won several Industry awards. The team’s aim is to develop the technology for licence across the board so that their work can help all diesel vehicles meet emission reduction targets – making roads cleaner and greener.