Reducing Diesel Soot With an Atmospheric Plasma Metallic Filter

EPA Contract Number: 68D01009
Title: Reducing Diesel Soot With an Atmospheric Plasma Metallic Filter
Investigators: Kelly-Wintenberg, Kimberly
Small Business: Atmospheric Glow Technologies
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $64,557
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The majority of buses, heavy-duty fleet vehicles, and construction and farm machinery are equipped with diesel engines. The diesel engine is an energy-efficient machine, but its exhaust emissions present a serious health and environmental problem. Drastic reductions of exhaust soot have been mandated throughout the world, including the recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandate to reduce smog-causing nitrogen oxides from these vehicles by 95 percent, and particulate matter (PM) (i.e., soot) by 90 percent. The EPA proposes a PM emission standard for new heavy-duty engines of 0.01 grams per brake-horsepower-hour (g/bhp/hr) in engine Model Year 2007. It is estimated that emissions of soot would be reduced by 110,000 tons each year when implemented. Current control technologies such as catalytic converters, alternative fuels, and advanced diesel engine combustion systems are only partially effective in controlling the soot generated from diesel engines. Most of today's filter-based technologies experience high operational back-pressures causing unfavorable fuel consumption. The key to the acceptability of barrier filters for diesel exhausts is the ability of the filter to be regenerated, or cleared of trapped particles, so that the exhaust back-pressure remains low.

Currently, there is no acceptable means of filter regeneration with respect to safety, energy consumption, and efficiency when an engine is idling. Atmospheric Glow Technologies proposes to solve this inadequacy of filter regeneration by developing a cost-effective and efficient metallic filter that will remove substantial concentrations of diesel soot by the generation of the patented One Atmosphere Uniform Glow Discharge Plasma, which can be run continuously or intermittently to meet the demands of emission reduction. A metallic filter will produce surface plasma when it is electrically energized, and it will be constructed and tested on the exhaust of a diesel engine. The metallic porous filter will remove soot particles from the diesel exhaust, and subsequently will be subjected to periodic plasma exposures for soot removal through oxidation by molecular radicals produced in the plasma. Experimental variables will be flow rate, or engine revolutions per minute, and the frequency and duration of plasma application. The pressure drop across the filter and the number density of penetrating particles will be continuously recorded during each test. The success of Phases I and II will result in a competitive product to meet increasingly stringent mandates in a cost-effective manner.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, soot, diesel engine, emissions, engineering, chemistry, EPA, air pollution, pollution prevention., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Waste, particulate matter, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, air toxics, mobile sources, tropospheric ozone, Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Incineration/Combustion, motor vehicles, emission control strategies, diesel engine, air pollutants, diesel engines, stratospheric ozone, engines, pollution control technologies, filtration technology, automotive emissions, automotive exhaust, atmospheric plasma filter, soot , diesel exhaust, emissions, vehicular exhaust, diesel, diesel exhaust particles, combustion engines, buses, metallic porous filter, exhaust, surface plasma

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Reducing Diesel Soot With an Atmospheric Plasma Metallic Filter