News

New technologies aim to reduce harmful diesel emissions

Two new systems have been developed that claim to further reduce the NOx emissions of the latest diesel engines

Words ByClaire Evans

Need a valuation?

Obtain a FREE used car valuation for any vehicle.

GB

car exhaust pipe

The Ammonia Creation and Conversion Technology (ACCT) system created by Loughborough University increases the capacity of existing engine treatments by helping them to work at lower temperatures.

Many of the latest Euro 6-compliant diesel engines are fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction systems that use AdBlue fluid to turn the NOx in exhaust gases into harmless nitrogen and water.

However, AdBlue only works well at very high temperatures, so it isn’t effective when a car’s engine is cold. ACCT enables it to work at much lower temperatures, leading to what Loughborough says are β€œsignificant reductions in tailpipe emissions”.

The university's Professor Graham Hargrave said: β€œWe are all familiar with the cold start, where diesel engines spew out plumes of toxic emissions before their catalytic systems are up to temperature and able to work effectively.

β€œOur system enables the SCR systems to work at temperatures as low as 60deg C. This means that the NOx reduction system remains active throughout the whole real-world driving cycle.”

So far, the technology has only been created for use in HGVs, but Loughborough says its is scalable for use in all vehicles.

The second piece of new technology aimed at reducing diesel emissions is the result of a study by Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) and Austria’s Technische Universitat Wien.

CPT claims its water-cooled SpeedStart 48-volt switched reluctance starter generator cuts NOx without affecting fuel economy or CO2 emissions.

It is a belt-integrated starter generator that delivers 13kW of instant regenerative braking and 7kW of torque assist, which it says reduces exhaust emissions by 9%.

Rather than dent fuel economy, it is said to improve it by 4.5% when fitted to a 3.0-litre V6 engine.

The new starter generator could be fitted to new cars during production.

Read more - Test shows MPG is worse after Volkswagen emissions fix

Read more - Should you buy a diesel car?


Got a motoring question? Our experts are standing by to help, just tweet us your question using #askwhatcar

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here