Manufacturing of Ultra‐efficient and Robust Nano‐array based Lean NOx Trapping Devices

EPA Contract Number: EPD15026
Title: Manufacturing of Ultra‐efficient and Robust Nano‐array based Lean NOx Trapping Devices
Investigators: Guo, Yanbing
Small Business: 3D Array Technology LLC
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Air and Climate


This project will result in a high-efficiency, low-cost nanostructure array (nano-array) based NOx aftertreatment devices to meet the need of reducing the NOx emission from the transportation industry and the usage of Pt-group metals (PGM). Synthesized via a low temperature solution process, a nano-array based Lean NOx Trapping (LNT) device will be developed and validated with great advantages over conventional NOx removal catalysts, such as high NOx removal activity, low light-off temperature, and cost-effective emissions control. Furthermore, a scalable solution manufacturing process also will be developed with outstanding merits in energy saving, cost effectiveness, simplicity and low operation temperature.
High-efficiency, low-cost NOx aftertreatment devices are needed to reduce the NOx emission from diesel and lean-burn engines, which have better fuel economy than traditional gasoline ones, in the transportation industry. In the catalyst industry, the effective solutions to reducing the usage of PGM have been sought after for decades, but are still lacking. A highly efficient nano-array LNT monolithic catalyst, which can effectively reduce the NOx emission from vehicles as well as reduce the usage of precious metals, if available, could represent a large market opportunity.
The goal of this project is to design, develop and validate nano-array based monolithic catalysts for the application of NOx reduction as efficient LNT devices. Nano-array based LNT monolithic catalysts will be fabricated with components of supporting metal oxide nano-array, NOx storage materials coating, and ultra-low PGM loading. The emission control reaction kinetics over the nano-array catalysts will be tested and studied on CO and NO oxidations, and NOx storage and reduction. It is anticipated that nano-array-based LNT monolithic catalysts will be developed with high NOx removal efficiency and low precious metal loading, which will directly meet the need of emission control market after a careful optimization and evaluation.
Upon completion, the proposed research will have transformative impacts on energy and environmental sustainability through providing a new type of high efficiency and low material consumption, and therefore a low-cost NOx reduction device. It will directly benefit the pollution abatement for such pollutants as NOx, particulate matter (PM) and greenhouse gases, and reduce the usage of critical materials such as PGM. It will also provide transformative solutions toward the further development and utilization of clean and fuel-efficient low temperature combustion technologies. It will, for the first time, systematically address the optimization of catalyst materials in the nanoscale on 3-D monolith for LNT catalysts and ignite the development of well-defined nanocatalyst-based structured catalysts. The engineered nano-array based monolithic catalysts can be easily extended to other catalytic active materials, forming a unique class of catalytic devices applicable in automotive, aerospace, chemical, mechanical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Moreover, as a game-changing technology, the nanoscale design and optimization will re-define the processing and manufacturing of structured catalysts, further impact the catalyst-involved industry, and benefit the sustainable development of human society.

The NOx emission control market for vehicles reached $2 billion in the United States in 2010, as reported by Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association. There is still no effective technology that can have high NOx removal efficiency and low PGM usage. The proposed technology with low PGM usage, and therefore a low cost, will help to penetrate and place 3D Array Technology’s product in a good market position.

Supplemental Keywords:

nano-array based monolithic catalysts; lean NOx trapping; nanomanufacturing; vehicle exhaust emission treatment; reducing usage of PGM; air and climate; nano-air filter

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report