1 A methodology for correctly matching trap systems to the vehicle types was developed within the scope of a feasibility study to retrofit the entire Swiss fleet of on-road HDV. Representative test vehicles from 11 vehicle categories were equipped with high capacity data loggers during a period of 4-6 weeks. Statistical evaluation of exhaust temperatures indicate that data on averages, peaks and frequency distributions alone can be misleading, because these tend to over-estimate the available exhaust enthalpy. Analysis of dwell time intervals, at certain temperature levels, is a better method to assess the energy available for the regeneration. Such verification of duty cycles is indispensable before retrofitting traps and choosing either active or passive regeneration systems.
Based on the emission inventory Fig. 1, the Swiss 1998 Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC) mandates curtailment of carcinogenic diesel particle emissions at type B construction sites . Moreover, particle traps are compulsory at underground workplaces . In compliance, more than 6,000 Diesel engines were retrofitted with various particle trap systems. Many traps surpassed 99% filtration efficiency and secondary emissions were mostly prevented. However, trap failure due to mechanical and thermal damage was initially rather high at about 10%. By the year 2000 the failure rate was halved to about 6%. Thanks to focussed improvements, the year 2003 statistics show yearly failures of “only” about 2%. The Swiss target is to retrofit 15,000 construction machines with traps, fully compliant with environmental directives, having 5,000 operating hours durability and failure rates below 1%. Traps must pass the VERT suitability test before deployment.
Most particulate traps efficiently retain soot of diesel engine exhaust but the potential hazard to form secondary emissions has to be controlled. The Diesel Particle Filter (DPF) regeneration is mainly supported by metal additives or metallic coatings. Certain noble or transition metals can support the formation of toxic secondary emissions such as Dioxins, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), Nitro-PAH or other volatile components. Furthermore, particulate trap associated with additive metals can penetrate through the filter system or coating metals can be released from coated systems. The VERT test procedure was especially developed to assess the potential risks of a formation of secondary pollutants in the trap. The present study gives an overview to the VERT test procedure. Aspects of suitability of different fuel additives and coating metals will be discussed and examples of trap and additive induced formation of toxic secondary emissions will be presented.
Transport Refrigeration Units (TRU) powered by small diesel engines emit high PM and cause locally high PM levels. The concomitant health risks spurred efforts to devise a cost-effective curtailment of these emissions. Diesel particulate filters (DPF) of ceramic honeycomb construction very efficiently trap PM emissions, even ultrafines in the lung penetrating size range of below 300 nm. A fuel borne catalyst (FBC) can facilitate trap regeneration, by lowering the exhaust temperature requirements, but cannot alone guarantee reliable regeneration under all operating conditions of the TRU. A Swiss development team together with industrial partners therefore developed a fully automatic active regeneration system for the California Air Resources Board.
New Diesel exhaust gas aftertreatment systems, with combined DPF*) and deNOx (mostly SCR) systems represent a very important step towards zero emission Diesel fleet. These combined systems are already offered today by several suppliers for retrofitting of HD vehicles. Reliable quality standards for those quite complex systems are urgently needed to enable decisions of several authorities. The present report informs about the international network project VERT *) dePN (de-activation, de-contamination, disposal of particles and NOx), which was started in Nov. 2006 with the objective to introduce the SCR-, or combined DPF+SCR-systems in the VERT verification procedure. Examples of results for some of the investigated systems are given. These investigations included parameters, which are important for the VERT quality testing: besides the regulated gaseous emissions several unregulated components such as NH3, NO2 and N2O were measured.
Vegetable oils blended to Diesel fuel are becoming popular. Economic, ecological and even political reasons are cited to decrease dependence on mineral oil and improve CO2 balance. The chemical composition of these bio fuels is different from mineral fuel, having less carbon and much more oxygen. Hence, internal combustion of Diesel + RME (Rapeseed Methyl Ester) blends was tested with particular focus on nanoparticle emissions, particle filtration characteristics and PAH-emissions. Fuel economy and emissions of bus engines were investigated in traffic, on a test-rig during standardized cycles, and on the chassis dynamometer. Fuel compositions were varied from standard EN 590 Diesel with <50 ppm sulfur to RME blends of 15, 30, and 50%. Also 100 % RME was tested on the test-rig. Emissions were compared with and without CRT traps. The PAH profiles of PM were determined. Particles were counted and analyzed for size, surface, and composition, using SMPS, PAS, DC and Coulometry.
1 The VERT project aimed at curtailing the construction site diesel emissions of ultra-fine particles to 1% of the raw emissions. Thus, compliance with occupational health legislation should be achieved. Particulate traps have attained this target. In contrast, engine tuning, reformulated fuels and oxidation catalytic converters are almost ineffective. This paper reports on the concluding project stage in which 10 traps were field tested during 2 years. Subsequent detailed measurements confirmed the excellent results: > 99% filtration rate was achieved in the nano-particulate range. The PAH, too, were very efficiently eliminated. Trap deployment becomes therefore imperative to fulfill VERT-targets.
1 Occupational Health Authorities in Germany and Switzerland require the use of particulate traps (PT) on construction machines used in underground and in tunneling since 1994. Swiss EPA has extended this requirement 1998 to all construction sites which are in or close to cities. During the VERT*-project, [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]**, traps systems were evaluated for this purpose and only those providing efficiencies over 95% for ultrafine particles < 200 nm have received official recommendation. 10 trap-systems are very popular now for these application, most of them for retrofitting existing engines. Efficiency data will be given as well as experience during a 2-years authority-controlled field test. LIEBHERR, producing their own Diesel engines in Switzerland and construction machines in Germany is the first company worldwide supplying particulate traps as OEM-feature (Original Equipment Manufacturing) on customers request.
1 Switzerland is enforcing the use of particulate traps for offroad applications like construction as well as for occupational health applications like tunneling. This decision is based on the results of the VERT-project (1994-1999), which included basic aerosol research, bench screening and field testing of promising solutions as well as the development of implementation tools like trap specification, certification scheems and field control measures. On the other hand there is no corresponding regulation for city-buses yet although PM 10 is about 2× above limit in most Swiss cities. Public pressure however is growing and city transport authorities have reacted by retrofitting Diesel city-buses instead of waiting for cleaner engine technology or CNG-conversions. The favored trap system with about 200 retrofits so far is the CRT.
Diesel engines are irreplaceable in tunnel construction. The particulate emissions of present day engines are so high that the imission limits valid since 1991 cannot be attained by ventilation alone. This problem had to be solved preparatory to the large tunnel projects in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Several retro-fitting measures were investigated both in the laboratory and in field tests, within the scope of the Project VERT. Oxidation catalytic converters, exhaust gas recirculation, and the usage of special fuels cannot be recommended. Particulate trap deployment, in different systems, was mostly successful. Particular attention was focused on the dependable filtration of finest particulates < 200 nm. The VERT proved that exhaust gas after-treatment with particulate traps is feasible, cost effective and controllable in the field. Pertinent directives are in discussion.
Microfibers with high specific micro-surface can be knitted into two-dimensional structures with large internal porosity. Catalytically active metals can be deposited on the fibers with high dispersion by wet-impregnation, sol-gel or CVD, respectively. These microfiber knits may be used for exhaust gas treatment systems with a triple function: particle filtration, gas conversion and muffling. The total oxidation of propane on Pd and Pt coated fibers has been studied as a test reaction. Conversion temperature could be remarkably reduced compared to cellular structures. For a bimetallic (Pt-Pd) coating, the activity is independent of humidity or oxygen concentration. Thus a catalytic converter based on micro-fiber knits appears feasible. Its high mass and heat transfer prevent hot spots. And it functions as submicron filter for combustion aerosols. Integrated electric heating can also be provided in case of low gas temperatures. First tests on engines show promising results.
1 Small off-road 4-stroke SI-engines have extraordinarily high pollutant emissions. These must be curtailed to comply with the new Swiss clean air act LRV 98. The Swiss environmental protection agency (BUWAL) investigated the state of the technology. The aim was a cleaner agricultural walk behind mower with a 10kW 4-stroke SI-engine. Two engine designs were compared: side-valve and OHV. A commercially available 3-way catalytic converter system substantially curtailed emissions: In the ISO 8178 G test-cycle-average, HC was minimized to 8% and CO to 5% of raw emissions. At part load points, the residual emission was < 1%. Simultaneously, fuel consumption improved 10%. Using a special gasoline (Swiss standard SN 181 163), the aromatic hydrocarbons were curtailed, e.g. Benzene < 1%, and fuel consumption further improved. Those results were confirmed in field tests. The engine is approved for retrofitting.
Four of these Particulate Reduction Systems (PMS) were tested on a passenger car and one of them on a HDV. Expectation of the research team was that they would reach at least a PM-reduction of 30% under all realistic operating conditions. The standard German filter test procedure for PMS was performed but moreover, the response to various operating conditions was tested including worst case situations. Besides the legislated CO, NOx and PM exhaust-gas emissions, also the particle count and NO2 were measured. The best filtration efficiency with one PMS was indeed 63%. However, under critical but realistic conditions filtration of 3 of 4 PMS was measured substantially lower than the expected 30 %, depending on operating conditions and prior history, and could even completely fail. Scatter between repeated cycles was very large and results were not reproducible. Even worse, with all 4 PMS deposited soot, stored in these systems during light load operation was intermittently blown-off.
Knitted fiber particulate traps facilitate deep-bed structures. These have excellent filtration properties, particularly for ultra-fine particulates. They are also suitable as substrate for catalytic processes. The two characteristics are: high total surface area of the filaments, and good mass transfer. These are prerequisites for intense catalytic activity. The deposited soot is uniformly distributed. Therefore, temperature peaks are avoided during regeneration. The tested coatings lower the regeneration temperature by about 200°C to burn-off temperatures below 350°C. Further improvements seem attainable. Thus, a purely passive regeneration appears feasible for most applications. The system is autonomous and cost effective. However, in extreme low load situations, e.g. city bus services, the necessary exhaust temperatures are not attained. Hence, burners or electrical heating is necessary for trap regeneration.
There is growing concern about the risk potential of Diesel particulates. This prompted two Swiss R&D projects focused on the capabilities of different soot trap concepts for filtering finest particulates. Eight different filter media, some in numerous variants, were tested on four different Diesel engines. All traps attained their gravimetric target. However, there are noticeable performance differences for finest particulates at or smaller than 50 nm. Fiber deep filters seem to be noticeably better than other filter types. If the carcinogens are mainly the finest particulates, then this criterion may become important in future trap evaluation.
Particulate traps are mechanical devices for trapping soot, ash and mineral particles, to curtail emissions from Diesel engines. The filtration effectiveness of traps can be defined, independent of the pertinent engine, as a function of the particle size, space velocity and operating temperature. This method of assessment lowers cost of certifying traps for large-scale retrofitting projects [1,2]. VERT  is a joint project of several European environmental and occupational health agencies. The project established a trap-verification protocol that adapts industrial filtration standards  to include the influence of soot burden and trap regeneration phenomena. Moreover, it verifies possible catalytic effects from coating substrates and deposited catalytic active material from engine wear or fuel/ lubricant additives.
By means of catalysts, either coatings or fuel-borne, the temperature level for triggering the combustion of soot stored in particulate traps can be lowered from 600°C to 300°C, in case of CRT even to 250°C; but even that may fail, if in dense traffic application of a city-bus only 150 - 200°C are attained - similar situations of low load duty cycles exist in most other applications too. Mere passive regeneration may then not be sufficient, active support is needed. This paper presents an “active” method applicable to any Diesel engine to increase the exhaust temperature whenever required: load of Diesel engines is controlled by the fuel flow only; consequently, excess of air above stochiometric requirement is increasing from λ = 1.5 to λ = 8 with decreasing load, which is in fact the principal cause of the low temperature at light loads.
Metallic substances, usually added to fuel as organic compounds are, as fuel additives proven to curtail particulate emissions from diesel engines and, as fuel borne catalysts (FBC), to promote regeneration of particle traps. During combustion, these substances form catalytic metal oxides and exit the combustion chamber as ultra-fine solid clusters in the mobility diameter range of 5-30 nm. Particles of this size and composition have a health impact and should not enter the respiratory air. FBC should therefore only be used together with particle traps, which can efficiently collect these metal oxide particles at all operating conditions. This and other requirements are stipulated in the VERT suitability tests for particle trap systems. The approval procedure includes a particle size-specific analysis to verify trap penetration in trace quantities.
The Comprex pressure-wave machine is well qualified for supercharging automotive Diesel engines, demonstrating as it does, improvements in power output, fuel consumption and emissions. The special form of the charging characteristics is established from theoretical considerations of the pressure wave compression process. Data from the currently available production machines show, with the aid of supercharging parameters, such a pressure ratio, density ratio and adiabatic compression efficiency, the operating limits of the machine with respect to cell filling and pressure-wave tuning. A computer program, interpolating from measured data and using a simplified model of the engine, allows optimisation of an installation considering Comprex type, shaft drive ratio, charge air cooling and control system functions. The correlation of the program with measured values is adequate for the purpose of engine-to-Comprex matching.