PanCeria: Catalytic NO and CO Emission Control Unit for Small Off-road

EPA Grant Number: SV839488
Title: PanCeria: Catalytic NO and CO Emission Control Unit for Small Off-road
Investigators: Crocker, David A. , Tam, Kawai
Current Investigators: Crocker, David A. , Tam, Kawai , Dalmacio, Andrew , Hernandez, Nobay , Raza, Ali , Taher, Aya , Engeline, Nydia
Institution: University of California - Riverside
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: II
Project Period: May 1, 2019 through April 11, 2020 (Extended to April 30, 2022)
Project Amount: $74,926
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2019) Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality

Objective:

The aim of the PanCeria prototype is to be an inexpensive catalytic converter for small off-road engines (SOREs) that will reduce air pollution. The device focuses on reducing the concentrations of nitrogen oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as particulate matter (PM) emitted through various small off-road engines such as gasoline-powered generators, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers. The development of this device will include the optimization of a non-precious metal catalyst, and the selection of environmentally-friendly and low-cost materials for construction.

Approach:

The catalyst used in the PanCeria device will be optimized using several weight loading, particle size, and transfer phenomena studies. Weight loading studies and particle size studies will be used to minimize any kinetic effects that may limit the catalyst. The effects of mass will be identified using various flow rates between 1000 cc/min to 2000 cc/min, any significant changes in catalytic activity will be a result of mass transfer limitations. Any mass transfer limitations will be limited through dilution with inert silicon dioxide (SiO2) gel. After optimization the catalyst will be tested in both humid and low sulfur environments, both known to deactivate catalysts to determine catalyst stability. Following the optimization and stability testing, thermal aging of the catalyst will be conducted to determine the lifespan of the catalyst. Once catalyst testing has been completed, the optimal length of the ceramic cordierite will be determined by coating 1, 2, and 3 in of cordierite and testing each one for conversion efficiency. After the ceramic monolith has been optimized, thermal aging will begin to determine the lifespan of the catalyst. Real time aging of the catalyst will also be conducted from 1 to 5 years to determine the catalyst shelf life of the catalyst. Finally a prototype of the PanCeria device will be constructed and retrofitted to several SOREs including generators, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers to begin prototype testing.

Expected Results:

The catalyst used in the PanCeria device is expected to achieve a conversion of 75% or higher. The catalyst is also expected to be fairly resilient to low sulfur environments, but the effects of humidity are unknown. The effects of mass transfer are also unknown but can be determined and limited if such limitation arise. The catalyst itself is expected to last the lifespan of gardening equipment, but the lifespan of the ceramic monolith and prototype is unknown but can be determined during prototype testing.

Supplemental Keywords:

Environmental sustainability, air pollution, criteria pollutants, catalysts, human health

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2019 Progress Report

  • P3 Phase I:

    PanCeria NOx Reducing Device: Selective Catalytic Reduction System for Emission Control of Small Off-Road Engines  | Final Report