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Honda Displays i-DTEC Next Generation Diesels at Frankfurt

Idtec
The i-DTEC engine. Click to enlarge.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Honda gave its new advanced 2.2-liter diesel engine a name—the i-DTEC—and put two of them on display. One, the result of “phase one” development, complies with the coming Euro 5 emissions standards. This engine will debut in the new Accord range in Europe in mid-2008.

The second “phase two” engine complies with the US EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 and future Euro 6 emissions standards through the use of a new NOx-reducing catalytic converter. (Earlier post.) With the reduction of engine-out NOx resulting from its combustion system (Premixed Charge Compression Ignition, PCCI), the engine will not require the use of a urea SCR NOx aftertreatment system to meet regulations. This engine is due to debut in the US and Japan in 2009.

For its approach to PCCI, Honda designed a new piston bowl and optimized the nozzle, further cooled the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), and initiated timing at close to TDC (top dead center). At very light loads, soot and NOx are almost zero. At higher loads, the level of engine out emissions can be lowered drastically, enabling the use of the catalytic converter.

With this catalytic converter, the i-DTEC engine series is capable of exceeding the proposed Euro6 regulation... and we will consider introducing this engine with the catalytic converter in Europe in addition to the US and Japan.

—Takeo Fukui, President & CEO, Honda Motor

The new catalytic converter utilizes a two-layer structure: one layer adsorbs NOx from the exhaust gas and converts a portion of it into ammonia, while the other layer adsorbs the resulting ammonia, and uses it later in a reaction that converts the remaining NOx in the exhaust into nitrogen (N2).

Ammonia is a highly effective reagent for reducing NOx into N2 in an oxygen-rich, lean-burn atmosphere. The system also features enhanced NOx reduction performance at 200–300ºC, the main temperature range of diesel engines.

Alongside developing exhaust gas cleaning technology, Honda is also addressing other technical challenges in developing clean diesel engines, such as handling diesel fuels with different cetane numbers—a particular problem in the US—and meeting US On-Board Diagnostic System requirements.

Comments

DieselHybrid

Diesel Honda! I'll take a 4cyl Accord Wagon, and a 6cyl 8-passenger Odyssey for my family.

Max Reid

Good move, Nissan is also coming with Altima-Diesel.
US needs a mix of fuels,
Diesel, E85, CNG, etc.

Lad

Diesels are expensive, especially four valve, overhead cam, high pressure, direct injection, turbo inter cooler, diesels with a closed loop microcomputer control, cat converter and particulate filter. I think what you are seeing here is the peak of the ICEs. It is becoming more costly to continue to invent complicated tweaking for the ICE than it is to improve the battery and electric drive lines for BEVs. Once BEVs can attain a 70 mph speed for a 350 mile range and be recharged in 10 to 20 minutes, there will be little need for the ICE except for heavy hauling range extensions.

Joseph


Lad, you are correct. Any Idea of when I might expect to get one of those BEV's of which you speak.

Been waiting for quite a while.

Rafael Seidl

Oh battery, oh battery, I christen thee - Godot!

Mirko

Rafael,
:)))))))))))))

tom

I also wait anxiously for the second coming by perusing ev world every day. Still feel we have a long wait before we write the ICE off.

Rafael Seidl

Back on topic: the chemistry behind Honda's catalyst has already been covered before. In a nutshell, it's a variation on the lean NOx trap concept involving ammonia as an intermediary compound produced ad-hoc from the engine-out emissions products. Ammonia is very effective at cleaning up NOx and unlike SCR, Honda's system does not require a urea-based additive to produce it.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/09/honda_previews_.html

The snag is that only rather small amounts of ammonia can be produced this way and, they are only active at elevated exhaust gas temperatures. This is why Honda decide to bite the bullet and implement a flameless combustion mode for part load, in which engine-out emissions are low enough not to need any subsequent cleanup in order to meet T2B5.

It's an elegant approach but difficult to implement, especially for a company that eschewed diesels for so long. Honda had to master a steep learning curve and then push the envelope. Unburdened by antiquated designs and had the rare opportunity to leapfrog the competition by starting from scratch. Here's the UK commercial that celebrated their first-ever (conventional) diesel:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7311586647585050372&q=honda+diesel&total=191&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Honda builds more ICE engines of all sizes and for all sorts of applications than anyone else. Kudos to them for once again raising the bar by bringing flameless combustion forward another step on the road to series production.

The development of PCCI began with a focus on early injection to maximize the time available for fuel evaporation and achieve reasonable mixture homogenization prior to ignition. Like others, they discovered that diesel fuel ignites so easily you have to use an awful lot of externally cooled EGR plus a reduced compression ratio to keep it from igniting too early. That in turn led to liquid films in the piston bowl, associated with high engine-out HC emissions and reduced fuel economy.

In the end, like others active in the diesel HCCI field (e.g. AVL List), they appear to have switched to a strategy of injecting late in the compression stroke but at higher pressure. By now, the small differences hiding in acronymia appaer to exist mainly to keep patent lawyers in gainful employment.

http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2005-01-0378
http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2006-01-0920

Lad


@Rafael/Joseph:

Right! but the dream of a Utopia, replete with BEVs, keeps my spirit high. If I thought all we had was ICEs for the future, I would be as soundly depressed as "The Great Unwashed."

Jon

Hello Rafael/Joseph/The Great Unwashed,

You are missing two main points here. First of all is that Diesels such as these get at least 30 if not 40 percent better fuel mileage than the comparable gas engines. Imagine a 60 mpg Diesel Accord and a 75 mpg Civic that run cleaner than gas cars.

Then lets add a battery and regenerative braking to the Diesel Accord and Civic and it only gets better.

Now to leave the Diesel Topic, lets take the battery idea and relplace it with the Hydrogen idea. Hydrogen becomes exciting when people stop thinking of it as a fuel and think of it as a fuel storage medium. People can generate Hydrogen and store it much like people can generate electricity and store it. Hydrogen can be a renewable resource if people generate it from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal.

Diesel and BioDiesel are a ways to reduce fuel consumption and energy dependence now.

Hydrogen will probably become more feasible in the future.

Back to Batteries -Maybe someone will find a way to flash charge a battery, but many really smart people have been working on that project for many years - and will continue for many more years.

Either way, we can all do our part now.

Jon

Jon

Hello Rafael/Joseph/The Great Unwashed,

You are missing two main points here. First of all is that Diesels such as these get at least 30 if not 40 percent better fuel mileage than the comparable gas engines. Imagine a 60 mpg Diesel Accord and a 75 mpg Civic that run cleaner than gas cars.

Then lets add a battery and regenerative braking to the Diesel Accord and Civic and it only gets better.

Now to leave the Diesel Topic, lets take the battery idea and relplace it with the Hydrogen idea. Hydrogen becomes exciting when people stop thinking of it as a fuel and think of it as a fuel storage medium. People can generate Hydrogen and store it much like people can generate electricity and store it. Hydrogen can be a renewable resource if people generate it from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal.

Diesel and BioDiesel are a ways to reduce fuel consumption and energy dependence now.

Hydrogen will probably become more feasible in the future.

Back to Batteries -Maybe someone will find a way to flash charge a battery, but many really smart people have been working on that project for many years - and will continue for many more years.

Either way, we can all do our part now.

Jon

Andrey

One important thing.

Conventional NOx trap converters require oxygen-free exhaust to regenerate adsorbed NOx. On diesel engines it is done by periodic combustion of some portion of fuel in exhaust track, which is completely wasted. Fuel penalty for NOx trap regeneration is about 2% (urea injection wastes even more energy spent on urea synthesis).

Honda’s cat works on lean exhaust, and does not require wasteful afterburner.

clett

Good point Andrey!

Rafael Seidl

@ Andrey -

not so! First off, LNTs are purged by temporarily switching to a slightly rich mixture in the cylinder. Only certain retrofit systems actually inject fuel into the exhaust.

Second, look again at the graphics in the link to the earlier GCC article that I provided above. The Honda system also adsorbs NOx during lean-burn phases and desorbs it during in purge events characterized by burning rich. In other words, there is a fuel economy penalty there as well, but it only applies when conventional CI has to be used. Therefore, it may be less than 2%.

If such highly efficient ICE's are fueled with biobutanol made from organic matter + (next generation) nuclear hydrogen, the efficiency might well be higher than full electric vehicles.
At best, a power plant can get 60% efficiency and there are significant losses in transport and charging/using batteries.
Compare to this using waste-biomass + [catalytic nuclear hydrogen]. The efficiencies may be not so different.
Since these diesel engines can be used to build the cheapest cars, you can easily use the price-difference with an all-electric vehicle to put a solar-collector on your roof.

Alain

Actually, the report at greencarcongress about the NetJets fuel does exactly that : producing carbon-free hydrogen out of coal and using it to upgrade biofuel-production.
(Coal + H2O --> H2 + CO2 . the CO2 is sequestered)
biomass + H2 --> lots of biofuel. (carbon-neutral)
If this biofuel is combusted in highly efficient ICE's, it gets probably a higher efficiency than first producing electricity and then driving electric cars.
It is certainly much cheaper and much easier to implement fast in milions of cars.

Although I have an almost spiritual apathy for ICE's, investing in more efficient diesels may make more ecologic sense than previously thought.

Harvey D

With higher efficiency PHEVs and BEVs on the horizon it is normal for ICE manufacturers to find ways to raise fuel burning engines efficiency.

However, much more will have to be done to reduce ICE harmful GHG and air pollutants emission. All ICE refinements could also be used to improve future PHEVs.

The cleanest and probably the most efficient vehicle is still a BEV when the power grid is supplied with hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and other clean power sources.

Rafael Seidl

@ comment dated Sep 14 7:50AM

- please pick a handle so others can address their response to you.

- butanol is a substitute for bulk gasoline. It is not a suitable fuel for a diesel engine.

tom deplume

Isn't "flameless combustion" an oxymoron? Flameless oxidation maybe but flameless combustion no way.

Rafael Seidl

@ Tom DePlume -

combustion is associated with the release of heat and light. A flame is a typical but not strictly necessary feature. It is in the extremely hot flame fronts of conventional ignition schemes that NOx is produced.

Roger Pham

Tom,
The flame produced during combustion is due to the high temperature of the combustion creating highly energetic photons in the visible light spectrum. The hot flame is blue and less hot flame will appears reddish. Cooler combustion is not capable of irradiating photons in the visible spectrum, only infrared photons, and will appear flameless.

Now, question for you Tom: Is "old flame" still hot or not? ;)

Andrey

Rafael:

I am not sure. As I am aware of, conventional 3-way cat breaks down unburned HC and generates hydrogen, which removes oxygen atoms from NOx. Reaction is possible only if free oxygen is not present in exhaust. Conventional NOx adsorbing catalysts just store NOx in internal layers during lean operation of ICE, and then release it during short regenerative event when engine is run stoichiometric. It is no problem for gasoline, but diesel physically can not burn fuel completely at lambda less then 1.5, so additional injection of diesel fuel into exhaust track to consume remaining oxygen is the must.

SCR of NOx uses urea, which degrades to ammonia and further to a lot of hydrogen, which accomplishes task of removing oxygen from NOx. Catalytic media is used only because exhaust temperature is not sufficient for the reaction. SCR tolerates free oxygen in exhaust.

Now, Honda’s chemistry produces ammonia directly from NOx, which is used to reduce NOx to N2 and H2O in lean exhaust, like in SCR. This is my understanding, but I have to go through Honda’s patents to be sure.

middleoroad

I'm still trying to disconnect my house from the grid, I would rather not connect my car to it.In addition I like the idea of explosions going on under my hood,maybe it's a power thing.The idea of burning alcohol created from waste is alot more exciting than buying my volts from entergy.

middleoroad

In this case I guess it would be biodiesel from used fryer oil.But I somehow like the idea of alcohol more.

michel

@Jon. 30-40% more milages is very very exaggerated.
Please compare a modern Di-Turbo-Patrol with a Di-Turbo-Diesel and tell us the difference if there is any in consumption. Then, compare CO2 and other emissions of both engine concepts. Furthemore, compare production costs. Finally drive both and tell us about the drivebility of a top-heavy Diesel.
Where and what to compare? Take the new VW TSI (140 HP, or 122HP)) engine and the TDI (105) in the Rabbit.
Auto journalists in other tests confirmed almost 50mpg for the 122 HP TSI foresighted manner of driving.
Here more conservative data:

TSI (122HP) TSI (140HP) TDI (105HP)
CO2(Factory/Test/Minimum)
149/158/140g/km 169/179/155g/km 135/148/130g/km
Factory:
CO 0,327g/km 0,343g/km 0,034g/km
NOx 0,031g/km 0,043g/km 0,203g/km (HC+ NOx)
HC 0,063g/km 0,042g/km -

(Above all readings in metric system!)

Consumption TSI (122HP) TSI (140HP) TDI (105HP)
EU test cycle 37,3mpg 33,1mpg 46mpg
Test consumption 35mpg 31mpg 41,9mpg
Minimal test consumption
39,8mpg 36mpg 47,9mpg

(All readings in US miles)

Notice, it´s only the 105HP TDI. The 140HP TDI burns more fuel and produces more harmful exhaust gases.
With the aadditional exhaust gas after treatment to meet recent US-emission standards and coming European, fuel consumption of the DIesel will rise. So do CO2 emissions.

For further reading:
http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/new_cars/golf/engines

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