Issue: Jan 2008


Automotive Industries caught up with Antti Niinivaara, CEO & President of the Ecocat Group.



by Lenny Case

Looking for answers to rising emissions across the globe is something the Finnish firm Ecocat Oy does all the time. Recently, the company developed a special mixer type catalyst that will further cut emissions from different types of diesels. In fact, Ecocat has gone on record that it is concentrating on developing better catalysts for diesels.

"Ecocat has developed a special mixer type catalyst for urea hydrolysis in SCR, and a partial filtration unit POC for LD and HD diesels," said Antti Niinivaara, CEO & President of the Ecocat Group in an earlier interview to AI.

Added Keijo Torkkell, general manager of the Ecocat Group: "Ecocat is focusing very much on the diesel exhaust after treatment. There are many global concerns regarding greenhouse effects. In this line, we are looking for opportunities which these concerns can provide for the catalyst business."

The company offers various solutions for diesel-powered vehicles. This includes EcoCat® substrates for gasoline-powered vehicles in three standard cell densities - 200, 350 and 500 cells per square inch. Prior to the EcoCat® products, the company used conventional laminar flow substrates. Today, EcoCat® products are used for EURO 4 solutions.

Apart from EcoCat® substrates, the company has EcoXcell®, mixer type of substrate, and POC®, Particle Oxidation Catalyst, offers various alternatives to provide customers with substrates and catalysts to meet demanding requirements. The company says that these products have a more favorable relationship between pressure drop and mass transfer rate compared to conventional straight channel substrates. Only with metallic substrates has it been possible to utilize inter channel communication in order to equalize flow and heat distributions within the matrix. Ecocat Oy can also supply its customers with silicon carbide based particulate filters; EcoFilt™.

Says Niinivaara: “Our market share in metallic substrate business is sufficient. We will increase this market share by choosing selected core businesses with demanding technologies that Ecocat already today have and can provide. As we have done and will be doing we'll provide the best logistical infrastructure to our clientele with latest know-how in emission technology."

Ecocat Oy took part last year in the 58th International Conference of Science and Technology held in Moscow, Russia. Issues discussed at the conference that was organized by the Association of Automotive Engineers of Russia (AAE) together with Research Centre for Automotive Vehicle Testing and Refinement, included ecology in European transport policy, measures of authoritative influence on factors of environmental safety and fuel economy of automotive vehicles during their development and operation.

Other issues included how cooperation between ministries and departments while regulating ecological, energetic and hygienic properties of automotive vehicles works. Discussions were held as to whether future motor vehicles will be able to reach zero emission norms. And the future of alternative fuels and standardization of ecological properties (emission of harmful substances and noise) of automotive vehicles.

Automotive Industries caught up with Antti Niinivaara, CEO & President of the Ecocat Group.

AI: During the 58th International Conference of Science and Technology, issues were raised about zero emission vehicles and alternate fuels - how close do you think we are to these?

Hydrogen industry takes decades. It is easier to influence to the quality of the air and greenhouse emissions by increasing the use of natural gas in the transportation and industry. The only obstacle for extensive exploitation is limited chain of distribution.

AI: Please tell us a little about the innovations Ecocat Oy has made in the production of catalytic converters for passenger cars, heavy duty vehicles, motorcycles, small engines and industrial equipment,

Open foil coating technology, which is very similar to spray painting, was devolepod in our company and and is very unique way of making catalyst substrates. That enabled us to introduce the high cell density substrates as the first company to the market. The first zone coated or gradient coated elements were also produced by that technology. It is also posibble to produce high diameter subsrates for industrial applications the largest ones which we have produced having diameter over 3 meters. The other products include for example the hydrolyzing mixers for SCR and efficient oxidation catalysts for diesel having swirling gas flow i.e. our Ecocat substrates.

AI: Is Ecocat Oy helping in the ongoing search for alternative fuel sources? If so, how?

Our focus today has been in natarul gas catalysts efficient enough for also methane conversion with reasonable precious metal loadings and also different alcohol-gasoline blends. In addition, we are working with various types of biobased diesel fuels, biogas and alternative lubricants for ensuring the compatibility and durability of our products also in the presence of these new materials.

AI: What are some of the new products we can expect from your company this year?

Among other items we are today putting our efforts to reduce the CO2 emissions by developing new type of substrate structure for improved fuel economy by reducing the product back pressure. For diesel, we are developing efficient and durable vanadia-free SCR product.


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