The emphasis on reducing particulate matter as a result of the EURO IV and EURO V emissions norms is among the most significant factors driving the penetration of diesel particulate filters (DPF) in Europe. Improvements in the filtration efficiency of existing DPF solutions will reinforce positive growth trends, while, the wider use of advanced materials will also support market expansion.
Frost & Sullivan (http://www.transportation.frost.com) finds that the European Diesel Particulate Filters Market will earn revenues of EUR1.4 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach EUR3.3 billion in 2012.
“Over the next two to three years, many new participants, including the US-based Dow Chemical Company, are anticipated to enter the European DPF market,” states Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Kaushik Madhavan. “Dow intends to commercialise its DPF technology for passenger vehicle application in Europe by 2008, having already showcased its DPF technology in the Audi R10 vehicle which recently won the American Le Mans endurance race.”
The entry of new participants will increase DPF volumes available in the market, thereby helping OEMs immensely in introducing DPFs in their diesel powered vehicles. This will also eliminate the likelihood of a temporary shortage of filters – a situation which was recently experienced by European OEMs. Here, suppliers were simply unable to cope with the high demand from OEMs who were eager to introduce DPFs into the market.
While these are positive developments, a primary challenge for both vehicle manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers remains the need to develop an integrated system approach. This approach is required for efficient regeneration and exhaust gas monitoring, particularly during unpredictable engine operating conditions. Under real-life operating conditions, the exhaust gas temperature in the particulate filter does not reach sufficiently high levels to ensure complete burning of the accumulated soot particles.
“To enable regeneration and to ensure complete reliability of the system in such situations, an integrated system approach is essential,” cautions Mr.
Madhavan. “A few of the important characteristics that must be included in such an approach are compatibility of the fuel-borne catalyst with DPF components, environmental friendliness, temperature stability and long-term stability to various types of diesel fuel.”
Promisingly for the market’s future, new technological solutions such as the diesel fuel vaporiser spin elements and external post-injection will offer vehicle manufacturers and suppliers new avenues to improve the efficiency of DPF technologies. At the same time, the use of advanced materials such as silicon bonded silicon carbide (Si-SiC) and aluminium titanate will enhance filtration efficiency, while maintaining the operating lifetime of the catalyst and the DPF.
“Also of significant importance in this context is the solution that combines selective catalyst reduction (SCR) and DPF technologies,” adds Mr. Madhavan. “This treatment not only reduces particulate emission but also minimises the emission of oxides of nitrogen.”
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