Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cleaner diesel sensing a lucrative market

19.09.2005


An ambitious EU project created new pollution sensors for the automotive industry that could enable a multibillion euro market in emission control systems by 2010. The sensors will also help Europe to meet its CO2 obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.



The IMITEC project developed an emission control system for light duty diesel vehicles. Diesel powered vehicles are increasingly becoming a major part of the European market and already occupy more than 50 per cent of the car fleet in several European countries such as France.

During its research IMITEC scored a remarkable number of firsts. "I think when we started the project it was considered highly ambitious, but we have met out targets and we now have several technologies that will be commercialised," says Dr Athanasios G. Konstandopoulos, project coordinator and director of the Aerosol and Particle Technology Laboratory at CERTH/CPERI in Thessaloniki, Greece.


Diesel is the most efficient combustion engine currently available, says Konstandopoulos, but it comes with emissions of particulates, a soot made mainly of carbon, and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) as by-products. IMITEC’s major innovation was to create the first particulate sensors for next generation diesel exhaust emission control systems.

Emission control invariably consists of a particulate filter, and the particulate sensor developed by IMITEC is vital for the so called ‘closed-loop’ control of this filter. As the filter is clogged by the collected particulate it needs to be cleaned by oxidation of the accumulated soot and this requires the raising of the exhaust temperature as diesel engines are so efficient the regular exhaust temperature is too low to oxidise soot. This process is termed ‘regeneration’.

The IMITEC sensor platform enables the activation of ‘regeneration’ in an adaptive and efficient fashion leading to fuel savings and increased reliability of the emission control system.

Sometimes filters need to regenerate after 500km, or 1000km, but to know exactly when, you need a sensor. "But the only way to know when to begin the regeneration process is to know the history of the filter, the driving profile of the vehicle," says Konstandopoulos. "It’s a key part of the whole system."

But IMITEC built more than sensors; they built an entire Emissions Control System for diesel engines, initially for light duty and passenger cars but the technology could be adapted for trucks. Particulate sensing and filter regeneration strategy, however, were the key parts of the project.

IMITEC developed two types of sensors during its research. Hardware sensors measure directly the values of particulates, temperature and pressure in the exhaust. Virtual sensors, on the other hand, are software that measure other sensors in the car and then apply an algorithm to discover a given measurement.

An example is the virtual sensor that computes the amount of soot load in a Diesel Particulate Filter from signals of filter pressure drop, exhaust flow and exhaust temperature. The output of these virtual sensors are used by the Engine Control Unit to adaptively and efficiently manage the emission control system.

All of IMITEC’s achievements go a long way to fulfilling the need for emission controls of the future.

It also attracted the intense interest of the automotive industry. The research centre of Fiat, one of Europe’s leading carmakers joined the project, as did UK-based Johnson Matthey, the world’s number one supplier of automotive catalysts, and Bosch Germany, the world’s leading supplier of exhaust sensors, fuel injection systems, and engine control units. The consortium also included Austria-based AVL, the largest independent automotive engineering company in the world and the CDL-ACT laboratory of the University of Leoben.

"We’ve been approached by many carmakers, and there are a lot of opportunities for spin-offs products, too," says Konstandopoulos. For example, the team may develop a highly portable unit for use in garages, to aid repairs and system monitoring.

Konstandopoulos believes the diesel emission control market could reach €10bn to €15bn a year by 2010. "Projections indicate that 50 per cent of European cars will be diesel by 2010, or 10m to 15m annually. If we estimate the cost of the entire emission control system at €1,000, which may be a reasonable estimate today, then you have a very important economic impact," he says.

The team developed a demonstrator of their Emissions Control System, fitted into a Fiat Ducato. "We have a demonstrator, in a real car, that will meet the anticipated Euro V emission standards expected to be finalised by the end of 2005," says Konstandopoulos. "This is another major result."

It’s just one more ambition achieved by a very ambitious project.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>