Nanostellar, Inc., a company developing materials for automotive emissions control and other cleantech applications announced that a paper based on its Noxicat(TM) catalyst has been published in the August 2012 issue of Science. Noxicat(TM) has already received considerable interest from manufacturers of light-duty and heavy-duty diesel engines for its ability to help engine manufacturers reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions while dramatically reducing the cost of doing so.
Oxides of nitrogen (NO(x)) produced during the combustion process in diesel engines are strictly regulated greenhouse gasses. Efficient conversion of NO(x) into nitrogen in vehicles using diesel engines requires oxidizing some NO into NO(2). Currently, the industry practice is to use high levels of platinum, which saddles the engine manufacturers with extremely high cost and low stability under hydro-thermal conditions to which these systems are exposed.
“We achieved the goal of finding a NO oxidation catalyst that performs better than platinum, does not use any precious metals and is hydrothermally stable” remarked Geoffrey McCool, who invented this material. Noxicat(TM) is stable within diesel exhaust temperature range, while platinum based solutions tend to sinter and loose activity when exposed at temperatures higher than 750 degrees C. This novel material starts being active at temperatures as low as 120 degrees C with NO to NO(2) conversion maxima of ~45% higher than that achieved with Pt after prolonged thermal aging. Structurally, the active site was found to be a Mn-Mn dimer on stepped mullite surfaces. “According to my density functional theory calculations, Noxicat’s active site has a comparable rate limiting step to that of platinum,” stated Weichao Wang, leading author of Science article.
“In addition to significantly reducing the costs of emissions control systems, Noxicat(TM) has numerous performance benefits over the incumbent platinum based catalysts” commented Pankaj Dhingra, Nanostellar’s President and CEO. “Noxicat(TM) enables higher fuel efficiency by allowing engine designers to reduce the frequency of filter regeneration events and allows for redesign of the emissions control system for further optimization.”
Dr. Bulent Yavuz, Nanostellar’s vice president of sales and marketing who has been monitoring the reaction of early customers stated that “Noxicat(TM) has created an unprecedented level of excitement among heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturers for both its performance benefits and its promise of significant cost reductions. The commercialization efforts received a further boost when customer testing revealed that Noxicat(TM) is able to regenerate itself after exposure to fuel-borne sulfur.”
Nanostellar develops advanced catalysts for emissions control and other cleantech applications. These solutions are developed using the Company’s innovative Rational Design Methodology which incorporates computational methods, nano-materials synthesis expertise and strong characterization techniques.
In 2008 the World Economic Forum recognized Nanostellar as a Technology Pioneer, an honor it bestows on those companies whose innovations are expected to have a critical impact on the future of business and society. In 2011 Nanostellar was named as a top emerging catalyst company by Lux Research, an independent research and advisory firm providing strategic advice and on-going intelligence on emerging technologies.
The company is located in Silicon Valley, California, and is funded by venture capital and other private investors.
For more information, visit www.nanostellar.com.
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