Cleaning the Engine Exhaust without Precious Metal Catalysts


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Internal combustion engine which serves as the main driver of modern transportation emits a number of pollutants which include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and micrometer size particulates. Carbon dioxide (CO2), which is not a regulated pollutant, is also included in the exhaust. 20-30% of energy related CO2 emissions are attributed to the transportation sector and there is growing interest in reducing CO2 from vehicles. The exhaust system of a vehicle is equipped with a catalytic converter to reduce harmful emissions to levels permitted by the EPA. However the catalytic converter is not designed to treat CO2. On the contrary, it neutralizes some of the pollutants by converting them into CO2. What is proposed in this research is a method which does not use any precious or rare materials. The method utilizes positive electron affinity of exhaust gas molecules such as nitrogen dioxide. A charging unit provides electrons to those molecules to create stable negative ions. As the ions float through the exhaust gas, they interact with pollutants and CO2 and electrically attract them to form clusters. Clusters are removed by an electric or magnetic field before the exhaust gas is discharged into the atmosphere.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: Technical Proceedings of the 2012 Clean Technology Conference and Trade Show
Published: June 18, 2012
Pages: 152 - 155
Industry sector: Energy & Sustainability
Topic: Carbon Capture & Utilization
ISBN: 978-1-4665-6277-6