Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-3677

PremAir® Catalyst System – A New Approach to Cleaning the Air 1999-01-3677

Classical approaches to pollution control have been to develop benign, non-polluting processes or to abate emissions at the tailpipe or stack before release to the atmosphere. A new technology called PremAir® Catalyst Systems1 takes a different approach and reduces ambient, ground level ozone directly. This technology takes advantage of the huge volumes of air which are processed daily by both mobile and stationary heat exchange devices. For mobile applications, the new system involves placing a catalytic coating on a vehicle's radiator or air conditioning condenser. For stationary applications, the catalytic coating typically is applied to an insert, which is attached to the air conditioning condenser. In either case, the catalyst converts ozone to oxygen as ozone containing ambient air passes over the coated radiator or condenser surfaces. The simplicity of the technology is that it provides a positive benefit to the environment while being totally passive in the end user application.
This presentation will review the current status of the PremAir technology. Engelhard is actively working with interested vehicle OEMs to commercialize the technology with the first introduction targeted for Fall 1999. Towards that end, the recently announced intention of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to provide emissions credits for PremAir catalyst system under the LEV program will now give automobile manufacturers an alternative “tool” for reducing fleetwide NMOG vehicle emissions and complying with the LEV requirements. Significant advancements have been made in recent years to reduce the overall cost of the catalyst system and to minimize any impact the coating has on the function of the vehicle's radiator. For example, the base metal only catalyst composition makes the PremAir system cost effective for introduction on automobiles. Additionally, the catalytic coating is passive to the radiator metallurgy and does not cause corrosion of aluminum radiators, and its coating is thin so that the heat transfer and pressure drop of the radiator are only marginally affected. Data related to these performance aspects of the coated radiator will be presented as well as ozone destruction results from on-road fleet testing up to 100,000 miles.


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