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A device for reducing emissions in exhaust end pipes to near zero

Scientists at the CSIC have developed a photocatalytical device, which can be implemented in the exhaust end pipes of motor vehicles. It eliminates some of the pollutants contained in the smoke generated by combustion.

Scientists at the CSIC have developed a photocatalytical device, which can be implemented in the exhaust end pipes of motor vehicles.One of the greatest environmental problems faced by local administrations, and specifically the large urban agglomerations, is pollutant emissions. The most efficient and cleanest option  to remove them is to incorporate devices or catalysts in the focus of emission, i.e., in the exhaust end pipe of motor vehicles.

Scientists at the Institute Eduardo Torroja of the CSIC have developed a photocatalizer for eliminating the contaminants in the gases from the exhaust pipe of motor vehicles, generated during the combustion of the fuel. Photocatalysis, a chemical reaction with a catalyser and triggered by light, allows the elimination of molecules by oxidation or reduction. In this case, the device oxides the nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds and other carbon particles

The device has a material (the photocatalyzer) which is placed inside the exhaust end piper, in a way that can cover the maximum surface of the pipe where the smoke flows, and a light (which triggers the chemical reaction), whose wavelength is adjusted to achieve the maximum performance of the photocatalyst.

Tests in laboratory have shown this device can reduce almost a hundred of times the nitrogen oxide (sometimes, a reduction from 4000 and 6000 parts per billion to 40 and 60), even below the environmental limits. Now, the scientists are working to improve the stability of the photocatalyzer.

The glass that covers the lamp exhibits self-cleaning properties to prevent the soiling and the resulting loss of effectiveness. In addition, the device incorporates the possibility to clean and remove the products deposited on the photocatalyst’s active sites that could deactivate them. The photocatalytic process starts when the engine of the vehicle is started and it stops when the engine turns off.

Regarding other catalytic devices based on chemical products, such as urea, with the same purpose, this device has the additional advantage of not generating itself more CO2 and it does not need the replacement of exhaust chemicals.

Contact:

Marisa Carrascoso Arranz
Área de Ciencias de Materiales
Vicepresidencia Adjunta
de Transferencia del Conocimiento (CSIC)
Tel.: + 34 – 91 568 15 33
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scientists at the CSIC have developed a photocatalytical device, which can be implemented in the exhaust end pipes of motor vehicles. It eliminates some of the pollutants contained in the smoke generated by combustion.