Clean Air Solutions from ArvinMeritor will help fleets meet emission rules
Jul 1, 2004 12:00 PM
AT A MEDIA event in June, ArvinMeritor Inc introduced a broad portfolio of innovative Clean Air Solutions to help North American fleet operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) meet the challenges of strict new emission standards scheduled to take effect in 2007 and 2010. The global automotive supplier, with more than 90 years of expertise in light and commercial vehicles, has developed an emissions management product line to meet the needs of its commercial vehicle customers.
The global market for diesel emission systems will approach $3 billion annually by 2010, according to ArvinMeritor analysts. “We believe that the new systems we've just announced will help us gain 50% of that market,” said Larry Yost, ArvinMeritor chairman and chief executive officer.
Tom Gosnell, president of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems business group, added “Increasingly stringent emission regulations around the world are a major concern for fleets, operators, and the manufacturers from whom they purchase trucks and tractors. ArvinMeritor is positioned to provide effective solutions for emissions management. We have made tremendous progress in the last 18 months in applying our experience and expertise in exhaust emission solutions in light vehicles to commercial vehicles.”
The 2007 and 2010 US regulations for the commercial vehicle industry demand particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions to be reduced by 90% to 95% from current levels. Similarly stricter European standards will be mandated in 2005 and 2008. It is expected that, to comply, all manufacturers will need to implement a combination of exhaust after-treatment systems with engine design and control changes. ArvinMeritor's core expertise in exhaust systems management revolves around four factors: the control of thermal stresses; the distribution flow of gases through a filter; the control of the acoustic signature unique to each manufacturer; and the development of rugged and long-lasting mounting systems.
Responding to the need to reduce PM and NOx, ArvinMeritor has developed a portfolio of solutions that can be tailored to specific applications of every engine builder and truck OEM. This portfolio includes:
For Particulate Matter
- Thermal Regenerator — Available now for retrofit; 2007 for OEM. Actively regenerates the filter, using diesel fuel as a heat source.
- Catalyzed Diesel Particulate Filter — Available in 2007. Meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2007 PM emissions standards.
- Selective Catalytic Reduction — Available in 2005 in Europe; 2007 in United States. Assists the catalytic reduction of the NOx on an ongoing basis, when liquid urea supplied from a separate tank is metered into the exhaust stream.
- NOx Filters enabled through ArvinMeritor's Plasma Fuel Reformer technology — Available in 2010. Hydrogen-rich gas is generated onboard and on demand, using the vehicle's diesel fuel as a source and supplied directly to the NOx trap, as required. The hydrogen-rich gas has proven to be an outstandingly efficient regenerator of the trap.
- Diesel Oxidation Catalysts — Available now. A catalyst in the exhaust system removes up to 90% of hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions.
The company has signed contracts to supply a major North American commercial truck manufacturer with PM diesel exhaust filters to satisfy the 2007 standards and has signed similar supply contracts with a number of diesel engine manufacturers. In addition, ArvinMeritor was recently awarded supply contracts for the SCR system by IVECO (Turin, Italy) and another major European commercial vehicle manufacturer.
Selective Catalytic Reduction has been used in the stationary engine market for many years as an effective NOx reduction solution. In an SCR system, a reagent (urea) supplied from a separate tank is measured and mixed into the exhaust stream. It decomposes and forms ammonia that continually facilitates the catalytic reduction of NOx.
In transportation applications, this approach presents several challenges, however. For example, the injection of urea must be measured precisely in proportion to the NOx present in the exhaust at any given time. As the level of NOx varies with engine speed, load, and exhaust flow rate, its concentration is extremely transient. In addition, a liquid (urea) other than diesel fuel must be carried onboard and replenished on a regular basis by the vehicle driver or fleet staff.
While SCR technology is moving forward in Europe, its future is more questionable in the United States. Even as it acknowledges that SCR is a workable technology, the EPA has expressed concerns about SCR applicability to the US market. EPA probably will require that any engine or truck using SCR must have an OEM-supplied lockout system to prevent vehicle operation if the urea system is empty or inoperative. The EPA probably also will require a urea distribution system to be in place before SCR-equipped trucks hit the road.
ArvinMeritor also announced plans with Gillig Corporation in Hayward, California, and one of North America's largest producers of transit buses, to collaborate on the development and testing of new emission control technologies for the North American transit bus industry. Through the partnership, the two companies will first introduce technologies designed to reduce PM and NOx emissions, which are common pollutants in urban areas.
These technologies are ArvinMeritor's Thermal Regenerator, which is ideally suited to solving the filter regeneration issues normally related to duty-cycle of transit buses, and ArvinMeritor's Plasma Fuel Reformer. The Plasma Fuel Reformer produces on-demand hydrogen gas that can be used to reduce NOx to levels compatible with the US 2010 requirements, when applied to 2004 model diesel engines.
ArvinMeritor also is working closely with fleet operators to validate and test real-world applications of its Clean Air Solutions technologies for 2007 applications. For instance, it is equipping five long-haul trucks operated by a major truckload motor carrier with the Thermal Regenerator diesel PM filter. Automatically controlled by a “smart” electronically controlled system, the Thermal Regenerator uses diesel fuel as a heat source to actively eliminate PM trapped in the filter.
“The motor carrier's test will provide us invaluable information and insight into the performance and operation of the Thermal Regenerator — early in the process,” said Gosnell. “The test will also provide thorough data on reliability, fuel economy and emissions improvements. We are expecting to implement many more fleet tests in the next two years.”
ArvinMeritor's Plasma Fuel Reformer is an exclusive, breakthrough technology that has enormous potential in enabling future diesel and gasoline exhaust emission solutions. The Plasma Fuel Reformer uses an electrical current — more specifically an electrical plasma arc — to partially combust a mixture of air and hydrocarbon fuel to create a hydrogen-rich gas.
“The Plasma Fuel Reformer has been co-developed with MIT, and ArvinMeritor has exclusivity on its use for licensed applications,” Gosnell said. “Our competitive advantage is that we will create hydrogen onboard, on demand. There will be no requirement for hydrogen tanks onboard the vehicle, no storage required, and no need for nationwide infrastructure distribution. That hydrogen can be used in many ways to improve exhaust emissions.
“We expect the first applications, such as the extremely efficient NOx traps we are developing to meet the 2010 US regulations, will be in commercial vehicles. But we also see this technology migrating to passenger car diesels and, eventually, to gasoline engines.”
The Clear Air Solutions products will be supported by the company's North American Field Organization — a group of close to 100 sales and service professionals. The organization serves fleets and dealers with specification and product information, as well as providing service troubleshooting diagnostics.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.