Loughborough Univ. Has System to Reduce NOx from Diesel Engines

Diesel engines take a lot of flak for their dangerous NOx emissions. Apparently, that will be a thing of the past soon. That's what a British research team at the Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England believes after designing a new system that can not only reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines, but possibly remove them entirely. 

Referred to as the ACCT (Ammonia Creation and Conversion Technology), the system has shown enough promise that everyone from car manufacturers to diesel fleet owners are thinking of supporting the idea in hopes of helping solve one of the most urgent problems in the automotive industry.

Led by Graham Hargrave and Jonathan Wilson, the team has worked on the project for many years. However, it was only in the past two years that they achieved their latest breakthrough.

The system converts AdBlue into an ammonia-rich "ACCT fluid" in an exhaust-mounted chamber. Because the chamber can consistently control the temperature, it can work even at low temperatures, a long-standing problem that emission technology has faced.

Though the system shares similarities with catalytic converters by separating the NOx leaving just nitrogen and water as the byproduct of the process, the main difference is that ACCT performs just as well in colder temperatures.

As of the moment, Eu6 approved cars can only capture 60 percent of the airborne NOx in the exhaust pipe. According to recently preliminary tests using the ACCT system, the technology could remove as much as 98 percent. That's a huge increase and a good sign for the future of the diesel should it find a way into mainstream use.

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