US and UK combine for easy-clean diesel filter

US researchers working with Jaguar have developed a diesel filter that is easier to clean and far more energy efficient than existing filters, it is claimed.

The technology is a result of a collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a US government-managed research institute, and ceramic-grinding manufacturers, Industrial Ceramic Solutions.

The cylindrical silicon carbide filter is one third of the weight of a conventional honeycomb diesel filter, which means it has lower backpressure on the engine, and a lower thermal mass — meaning it takes much less heat for it to be cleaned.

‘If you have a lower thermal mass, it takes less energy to regenerate the filter and so the car’s fuel efficiency is better,’ said Industrial Ceramic Solutions president Dick Nixdorf.

The strands of ceramic fibres which are no more than 300nm wide are bound together to form a sheet of paper which is pleated to make the filter. According to Nixdorf, this makes the technology far cheaper to manufacture.

Industrial Ceramic Solutions has a joint development agreement with Jaguar, which has been involved in developing the specifications for the filter as well as some early testing. Prototypes of the filter are expected to be ready by the end of April.