Reducing NOx

Glennan Microsystems proposes to develop and demonstrate an active fuel and emission control system that will reduce NOx emissions from gas turbine engines by 70%.

A byproduct of combustion, nitrogen oxides (NOx) pollute the atmosphere and water, with health and environmental effects costing tens of billions of dollars per year.

Now, Glennan Microsystems working with ZIN Technologies, Goodrich and Case Western Reserve University propose to develop and demonstrate an active fuel and emission control system that will reduce NOx emissions from gas turbine engines by 70%.

The Active Fuel and Emissions Control (AFEC) system, which will be developed over a four year period, would allow new and existing aircraft engines, electrical power generators, and marine propulsion engines to meet the NOx emissions standards for 2010 that have been set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

If successful, the system could be adapted to internal combustion engines in cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles, a $110 billion per year global market that accounts for 53% of all NOx emissions.

The project’s core innovation will be the development of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) silicon carbide (SiC) sensors and actuators that must tolerate very high temperatures (up to 600 degrees Celsius) in the combustion chamber. Integration of SiC MEMS devices with combustion hardware has not yet been demonstrated and would be a major breakthrough if it could be achieved.

Glennan will bring to the party its expertise in developing such SiC-based MEMS, Goodrich its understanding of combustion control systems, while Zin will contribute its knowledge of developing diagnostics for power and propulsion technologies in harsh environments.

Subcontractors FLX Micro, Pentalim, Sienna Technologies and the University of Cincinnati will help overcome the technical and business obstacles involved with bringing the system to market.

The design, fabrication and testing support of the system will take place at the NASA Glenn Research Center.