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Nanostellar Introduces Gold as Oxidation Catalyst

THC performance of three formulations of NS Gold compared to a platinum-palladium catalyst. Click to enlarge.

Nanostellar, Inc., a start-up developer of catalyst materials, has introduced a gold-containing oxidation catalyst that reduces emissions by as much as 40% more than existing pure-platinum catalysts at equal cost, according to independent testing cited by the company.

Nanostellar introduced its first-generation product, based on a platinum and palladium alloy, in mid-2006, and it achieved 25%-30% higher performance than commercial pure-platinum catalysts. NS Gold, Nanostellar’s second-generation product, delivers a further 15%-20% performance increase.

NS Gold is suitable for heavy-duty trucks; new low-combustion regime, high efficiency diesel engines; ammonia slip catalysts; VOC and natural gas engines.

Platinum is the most expensive component of the diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) that are required to meet the stringent emission regulations for the 14 million light-duty and 2 million heavy-duty diesel vehicles produced annually worldwide.

In recent years, Nanostellar and other producers of catalyst materials have introduced the use of palladium to partially replace the four-times more expensive platinum. The use of gold—currently about half the price of platinum—for diesel emission control further reduces the amount of platinum needed and the overall cost of the catalysts.

When compared to emerging platinum-palladium catalysts, NS Gold promises to increase hydrocarbon oxidation activity by 15-20% at equal precious-metal cost.

A tri-metal formulation of gold, platinum, and palladium, NS Gold allows the proportions of each metal to be adjusted to help catalyst systems engineers meet engine-specific performance targets and stabilize the overall cost of diesel catalysts, despite fluctuations in the price of precious metals.

Gold is not new to catalyst scientists, but this is the first time it has been successfully adapted for use in automotive diesel oxidation catalysts. Not only does NS Gold(TM) break performance barriers imposed by mixed platinum and palladium catalysts, but also its performance can be more easily tuned to the characteristics of a variety of diesel engines.

—Pankaj Dhingra, CEO of Nanostellar

NS Gold, developed using Nanostellar’s Rational Catalyst Design methodology,  is potentially suitable for treating all lean-stream exhaust. Applications include, but are not limited to, treating particulates and hydrocarbons in soot filters, stationary-source volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, and ammonia slip in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.

NS Gold is immediately available for targeted application-specific testing. Production quantities will be available as production programs are identified and released.



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