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Bath University and SAIC Motor team up to investigate gasoline particulate filter performance

The University of Bath and SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre are collaborating on a project to identify the most efficient conditions for the optimum performance of gasoline particulate filters (GPFs), to help minimize vehicle impact on the environment.

The ‘GPF Burn rate and Low Temperature Reactivity’ project will last 14 months and utilize the University’s state of the art Chassis Dynamometer in its Centre for Low Emission Vehicle Research (CLEVeR).

The researchers at Bath are designing a new rig capable of varying the temperature and composition of exhaust gasses entering automotive after-treatment system components such as GPFs, in order to identify the optimum conditions for the soot burn rate of GPFs.

A test vehicle will be put through its paces on the University’s dyno with the bespoke rig enabling the temperature and exhaust gas composition entering the after-treatment components to be controlled.

GPFs ensure the particulate emissions from a gasoline direct injection vehicle are kept to a minimum and within the latest Euro 6 standard emissions requirements. This is achieved by the GPF trapping and safely removing harmful particulates from exhaust gasses.

Particulate filters can become blocked over time requiring them to complete what is known as a regeneration cycle in which the temperature and gas composition in the engine enables the particulate filter to safely burn off particulate matter trapped in the filter.

Using this new rig, the researchers are also investigating the performance of novel catalyst washcoats and coatings for reducing the temperature at which harmful emissions begin to be converted into the more benign species water, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

In better understanding the impact of catalysts on the temperature needed for conversion to occur, the researchers hope to be able to minimize the time taken for the catalysts to become operational after the vehicle has been started and reduce vehicle emissions under real world driving conditions.

This work will support SAIC Motor’s gasoline vehicle after-treatment development program and feed into SAIC Motor’s global product development activities in the UK and China.

SAIC Motor expects this partnership with the University of Bath will contribute to its knowledge of GPFs and catalyst formulations, supporting the company’s rapidly growing sales around the World.

This research project is an exciting opportunity to widen and build on the existing collaborative relationship with SAIC Motor, and utilize the experience that the University’s Powertrain & Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC) has built up over many years to help reduce the impact of vehicles on the environment.

Reduction of vehicle particulate and gaseous emissions, particularly in urban areas, is a real focus for automotive OEMs, and it is fantastic that the University of Bath can make a real contribution with this research.

—Dr Chris Bannister, Project lead and Associate Professor in Automotive Engineering in the University of Bath’s Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS)



Well, this research is kind of late since there are already GPF-equipped car on the road. Somebody else must have already (a long time ago) decided that this is a viable and cost-effective way of reducing particulate emissions.

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