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Daihatsu Motor and RITE Developing Non-Thermal Plasma Emissions Control for Diesel Minicars

5 April 2007

Riteplasma
Simple schematic of the plasma system.

In an effort to develop a lower-cost emissions control system for diesel minicars, Daihatsu has been working with Japan’s Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth on a non-thermal plasma (NTP) system for reducing particulate matter from diesel exhaust. Daihatsu engineers will present a paper on their work at the upcoming SAE World Congress in Detroit.

Daihatsu, 51.2% owned by Toyota Motor, overtook Suzuki Motor last year as the top seller of minicars in Japan. Suzuki had held the top spot for 33 years.

While sales of standard automobiles continue to drop in Japan, sales of minicars continue to climb. The total number of minivehicles sold topped 2 million for the first time last year, according to the Japan Mini Vehicles Association, based on stronger demand for fuel-efficient, inexpensive vehicles. Minicars accounted for a record 36.1% of all automobiles sold last fiscal year, which includes vehicles with engine displacements of more than 660cc.

Daihatsu—and other automakers—are concerned about the increasing cost and availability of the precious metals used in emissions control devices.

“Even if we can develop a technology [to reduce exhaust emissions], we might not be able to produce vehicles due to a lack of raw materials,” said Hirohisa Tanaka, a technical expert at Daihatsu Motor Co.

The NTP system would allow Daihatsu to leave rare metals out of the emissions aftertreatment process, and allow it to reduce costs. Daihatsu says that the system is best suited for use in minivehicles.

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April 5, 2007 in Diesel, Emissions, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

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Yes! Another victory for plasma emissions treatment. First Honda, now Daihatsu.

Whether diesel or gas- we need these mini-class of cars in the US. When I was stationed in Japan, "Keicar" vehicles (limited to 660cc displacement) were becoming all the rage.

In 2004 I had a chance to drive a Subaru "R2 TypeS" with a 658cc supercharged + intercooled engine with a 7-spd sport shift CVT. It had 4 doors and provided all the basic transportation one would need. It was offered as a front wheel drive or 4wd. It was good for an equivalent 45mpg- and, most importantly, it was a blast to drive! The entire car couldn't have weighed more than 2000lbs.

Imagine what a diesel version could do!

I wanted to bring one back with me so bad- but was saddened to learn importing one to the US was cost-prohibitive.

However, if fuel prices hit $5/gallon- perhaps we'll see keicars in the US. Another novel idea from Japan- the land of innovation.

DH:

You'd never find a keicar here because they couldn't pass US safety regs.

Since Toyota owns 50+% of Daihatsu, we might see this in Tier2Bin5/Euro5-6 offerings (Yaris, Camary, Tundra, Matrix, RAV-4) sometime in next 5-8 years (in Japan/Europe if not NA).

Why is a vehicle considered to be safe in Japan, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa etc but NOT in democratic US of A?

Are there hidden reasons that cannot be publically disclosed in a first class democracy?

Harvey:

US, Canada, EU, Japan – all have clearly defined safety standards for motor vehicles. US and Canadian standards are more stringent (yet not without glitches – high bumpers for SUV and pick-ups, for example). These standards requirements lead to higher vehicle weight, and that is the reason why even small cars like Yaris and Fit are weighting more than 1 ton. Recently attempt of Chinese carmaker Jiangling Motors to export their SUV to Europe failed, because of “zero” rating in crush tests:

http://paultan.org/archives/2005/09/30/jiangling-landwind-x6-gets-zero-in-crash-test/

Yes andrey but we are talk Japan an EU! Driving is the single most complex task performed buy 99% of the population. I requires skill and concentration.

Crash protection is killing the planet. We are getting to absurd levels of vehicle mass due to crash regulations.

The EU requirement to protect pedestrians has adds up to 200kg to an ave size European car!

We should stress and work on crash avoidance. Why does it always have to be the lowest common denominator.

Protect us from ourselves!

I'll get of my soapbox now :-)

Mike

Mike,

If you live in the US take a look at the news on any given day. You have enough older drivers on the roads that simple crash avoidance will not work [I can't even count the number of times an older driver reportedly had a "stuck accelerator" and ran over pedestrians or into buildings].

People are TERRIBLE drivers. 5 million accidents due primarily to driver error every year. We are lucky to have only 40,000 fatalities.

A first class Demacracy is a transparent Democracy. Not one led by a few leaders who meet behind closed doors with energy executives to cut backroom deals. These elected few, who hold dispropotionate amounts of stock in companies that do bussiness with the Fedral Government, are the ones keeping the tarnish on our First Class image. They take their business and leave the country, after extracting record revenue and profit from our taxpayer coffers, and jump through loopholes to the Middle East, for the tax shelter of what rarely resembles any Democracy. Never has this country been so blatently sold out to those
with a "Black Gold/Texas Tea" revenue stream. If you go to the
source of this "Nile" you will find the true Denial of our
failed energy and foreign policy FUBAR!

A first class Demacracy is a transparent Democracy. Not one led by a few leaders who meet behind closed doors with energy executives to cut backroom deals. These elected few, who hold dispropotionate amounts of stock in companies that do bussiness with the Fedral Government, are the ones keeping the tarnish on our First Class image. They take their business and leave the country, after extracting record revenue and profit from our taxpayer coffers, and jump through loopholes to the Middle East, for the tax shelter of what rarely resembles any Democracy. Never has this country been so blatently sold out to those
with a "Black Gold/Texas Tea" revenue stream. If you go to the
source of this "Nile" you will find the true Denial of our
failed energy and foreign policy FUBAR!

The crash safety rulings like the auto emissions regulations are not secret. All are clearly published.

Everyone of all political persuasions, supported the efforts to cleanup and increasing safety of the Auto; but the Libs, lawyers, and bureaucrats for various diverse reasons, can't ever be happy with merely good.

Their only justification for existence, their raison d'etre, is to trump all reasonable efforts by dark hints of conspiracies, to prevent ultra safety or ultra emissions regulation. This was their only avenue to power, since their belief in an economic system that has never worked after hundred of attempts, militates against them.

Now that the watermelons have adopted ultra warming concerns, so the non-instantaneous adoption of the poorest but most fuel conscious vehicles, are the source of yet more conspiracy theories.

The result is the US will have it all; just on a slightly slower schedule. Transition from fossil fuel ground transport, together with ultra safety and ultra clean emissions in these vehicles, is only a delay of a few year's time.

I read in an engineering magazine that this engine is T2/Bin5... why don't they bring it across the pond?

News: Toyota Auris gets more diesel power
04 Apr 07 17:44
Toyota Auris

The most powerful Auris has arrived in Britain: a 175bhp diesel capable of 130mph and 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds. The 2.2-litre hatchback, badged T180, returns 45.6mpg and 164g/km of carbon dioxide. Toyota claims that this piezo-injection engine, with an advanced exhaust catalyst system, is the cleanest diesel on the market in terms of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions.

To cope with its greater performance, the T180 has revised rear suspension with a multi-link layout in place of the standard torsion beam, modified steering, larger front brake discs and standard six-speed gearbox, stability control and traction control.

I haven't checked the allowable sulphur content in US diesel recently, but anything beyond 10 ppm kills the emissions of these clean diesels...

(Last time I checked, the US still allowed up to 500 ppm S in diesel; for comparison, in the EU, since 2005 no fuel is to be sold containing more than 10 ppm - with only the new member states excempted for a few (2)years. Typically, gasoline and diesel in europe contains 3-5 ppm sulphur).

Patrick, it`s not that everyone is a horrible driver, though I do see plenty. The problem is that it can take less than a second for even a great driver to lapse and get into an accident.

We see great potential for DME as a clean alternative fuel . The present diesel oil is a major source of air pollution from diesel engine of trucks and busses in large city like Tokyo. The potential market of diesel oil substitute is larger than LPG. DME is one of ideal fuel for diesel engine. DME vehicles were demonstratively manufactured in Japan, China and Korea and their driving test already started. Practical durability fleet test of a DME truck is under going in Japan.

We are pleased to organise a conference on China taking the lead in the DME market in production from coal and Japan and Korea activities.

If you would like to know more on COAL to Syngas to DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:


DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
By:
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
By:
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information: www.iceorganiser.com

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