MATS REPORT: ArvinMeritor packages aftertreatment for Detroit, Mercedes engines

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Truck component systems giant ArvinMeritor announced that its Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) group has been awarded a contract to supply the exhaust-aftertreatment-device packaging for all Detroit Diesel and Mercedes-Benz motors in Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star trucks for 2007.

ArvinMeritor will provide the engineered packaging for all configurations of the diesel particulate filters (DPFs) that are required to meet 2007 emissions standards. Though it has the capability, the company is not making the DPFs that will be used behind Detroit and Mercedes engines next year. The filters themselves are made by Corning.

The deal represents the largest piece of heavy-duty business awarded by an OEM to an emissions-control-system packaging provider, ArvinMeritor says.

ArvinMeritor’s plasma fuel reformer for 2010

While known largely as an axle and brakes systems supplier, ArvinMeritor has been rapidly growing the development of exhaust aftertreatment systems to meet U.S. heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards for 2007 and beyond, using solutions that includes proprietary computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis (FEA), soot modeling and thermal modeling. Its aftertreatment products are also in use in European trucks now.

However, the company has a long history of active involvement in developing advanced emissions-control technologies dating back to the catalytic converter in the 1970s.

ArvinMeritor’s exhaust division presently manufactures Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems used by some European truck makers. It also has an ‘active’ DPF — called the Thermal Regenerator — that will be used in at least one North American vocational truck in 2007. It will also be available for retrofit applications.

The company also says it’s well on its way to providing a solution to the even tougher 2010 EPA standards with a technology it’s calling the ActiveClean plasma fuel reformer.

“Our new ActiveClean plasma fuel reformer allows truck operators to more efficiently reduce exhaust emissions, while causing minimal financial and performance impact on their fleets,” said Silvio Angori, general manager of ArvinMeritor Commercial Vehicle Emissions.

According to Angori, the ActiveClean plasma fuel reformer separates or “reforms” diesel fuel drawn from the vehicle’s fuel tank into hydrogen and carbon monoxide using electrically generated plasma. The hydrogen and carbon monoxide then are injected into the exhaust upstream of the catalytic elements in the emissions control aftertreatment system to reduce particulate matter and nitrous oxides (NOx).

The mixture is used in conjunction with lean NOx trap catalysts to reduce NOx emissions. Because the reformed hydrogen/carbon monoxide combination is more efficient, the system requires 50 percent less diesel fuel than equivalent NOx trap systems.

The utilization of hydrogen also allows the removal of sulfur from the NOx trap — a process called desulfation — to occur at a temperature as much as 200 degrees Celsius lower than other systems that utilize diesel fuel for desulfation. The lower desulfation temperature enables increased durability of the lean NOx trap catalyst and reduces the amount of platinum required in the catalyst formulation by more than 50 percent.

The plasma fuel reformer has been designed to provide fast response to transient engine conditions and minimize the space envelope requirements on the vehicle. ArvinMeritor worked on the initial development of the plasma fuel reformer with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), then further developed the technology to its production-ready state.

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