In the near future the usual summer ozone peaks exceeding the allowed threshold may be a thing of the past: the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland has developed a new type of catalytic conversion system, which filters nearly all nitrogen oxides out of diesel exhaust gases using a refined control technology. This eliminates the main cause of summer ozone build-up. The process requires a non-toxic urea solution, which future diesel engine commercial vehicles can take with them in a separate refillable tank.
Diesel engines are looked upon as relatively economic and environment-friendly, because they have a better fuel efficiency than gasoline engines. But burning diesel also has a grave disadvantage: it produces nitrogen oxides, which enhance the build-up of hazardous ozone during periods of high solar radiation. “In the end, diesel engines today are the main cause for high ozone values during summer”, says Oliver Kroecher, Exhaust Gas Aftertreatment Group Manager at PSI. Already by 2005, exhaust gas standards for diesel engines are to be tightened massively throughout Europe. And further steps reducing the threshold are planned.
To comply with the new threshold values engine manufacturers are now focussing on the so-called SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology. Here nitrogen oxides are transformed into nitrogen and water vapour using a catalytic converter and by adding a harmless urea solution. This compelling principle could establish itself in the foreseeable future in all commercial diesel-powered commercial vehicles. In future drivers should get used to refilling an additional urea tank.
Beat Gerber | alfa
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy