Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New catalyst could help

04.12.2003


A new catalyst could help auto makers meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s deadline to eliminate 95 percent of nitrogen-oxide from diesel engine exhausts by 2007, while saving energy.



Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the new catalyst is one of a family of related catalysts that also shows promise for reducing NOx emissions from industrial sources, such as coal-fired power plants and furnaces at chemical plants and refineries.

Nitrogen oxides — collectively called "NOx" — contribute to smog, acid rain and global climate change.


"For diesel engines, we envision manufacturers placing ceramic catalytic reactors in the exhaust pipes, where they will convert NOx emissions into nitrogen," said inventor Chris Marshall of Argonne’s Chemical Engineering Division. Nitrogen is a harmless gas that makes up more than 80 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere.

"Our most promising catalyst for diesel engines," Marshall said, "is Cu-ZSM-5 with an external coating of cerium oxide." Cu-ZSM-5 is a zeolite doped with copper; zeolites are common catalysts used in petroleum refining.

Those working previously with Cu-ZSM-5 and similar catalysts, he said, found that they performed poorly at removing NOx from diesel exhaust. They require temperatures higher than normal exhaust temperatures and don’t work well in the presence of water vapor, which is almost always found in engine exhausts.

"Our new cerium oxide additive," he said, "is the breakthrough that makes it work. When it’s combined with Cu-ZSM-5, the resulting catalyst works at normal exhaust temperatures and is actually more effective with water vapor than without it. With a lean fuel-air mixture, it removes as much as 95 to 100 percent of NOx emissions."

Argonne’s new catalysts also avoid the problems associated with ammonia, which competing catalysts generate.

"The current standard is ammonia-selective catalytic reduction, using urea as the source," Marshall said, "but ammonia is toxic, and unless all of it is converted during the process, whatever remains is released to the atmosphere. While some European diesel manufacturers are taking the urea approach, U.S. diesel manufacturers are looking for alternatives." Since a system using the new catalyst would not require an on-board urea storage tank, the new catalyst is considered safer and more energy-efficient.

"We’re also looking at other elements that may work better than cerium under certain engine conditions," he said. "Zirconia shows good promise."

Initial research on the cerium-oxide catalyst was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The catalyst was developed for chemical plant emissions under a joint research agreement with BP. Research plans call for expanded work aimed at both diesel and natural gas engines and coal-fired power plants.

A patent application has been filed on the new catalyst and it is expected to be available for licensing.

The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600 companies and numerous federal agencies and other organizations to help advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for the future. Argonne is operated by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

For more information, please contact Catherine Foster (630/252-5580 or media@anl.gov) at Argonne.

Catherine Foster | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Further information:
http://www.anl.gov/OPA/news03/news031128.htm

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>