Bath University to host petrol particulate reduction study

A new project at Bath University will explore the optimum conditions for gasoline particulate filters (GPFs) to operate in, with the goal of reducing vehicle impact on the environment.

Chris Bannister pictured with the GPF on the rig (Credit: Bath University)

GPFs ensure the particulate emissions from a petrol combustion vehicle are minimised and legally within Euro 6 standard requirements. The devices trap and remove harmful particulates from exhaust gasses, but can become blocked over time. This requires them to complete a regeneration cycle where the temperature and gas composition in the engine enables the particulate filter to safely burn off particulate matter trapped in the filter.

Using a new ‘rolling road’ rig at the university, the researchers – in collaboration with SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre will explore the optimum conditions for the soot burn rate of GPFs. The team will also investigate the performance of novel catalyst washcoats and coatings for reducing the temperature at which harmful emissions begin to be converted into the more benign substances such as 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 minimise the time taken for the catalysts to become operational after the vehicle has been started and reduce emissions under real-world driving conditions.

“This research project is an exciting opportunity to widen and build on the existing collaborative relationship with SAIC Motor, and utilise 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,” said project lead Dr Chris Bannister, Associate Professor in Automotive Engineering at Bath’s Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS).

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