On Board Oxygen Generating Membranes for Reduced Start-Up Emissions

EPA Contract Number: 68D60055
Title: On Board Oxygen Generating Membranes for Reduced Start-Up Emissions
Investigators: Nemser, Stuart
Small Business: Compact Membrane Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1996 through September 1, 1999
Project Amount: $224,900
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1996) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Air Quality and Air Toxics


Automotive three-way catalysts (TWC) are efficient at steady state operating temperatures typically destroying over 98% of incoming hydrocarbons (HCs) and carbon monoxide (CO). However, up to 80% of emissions occur during the first few minutes of Federal Test Procedures (FTP) when the engine is running rich, the engine is cold, and TWC has not reached light-off temperature. This project's objective is to develop and demonstrate that compact oxygen enrichment membranes can be effectively used to significantly reduce HC and CO emissions during start-up and lead to quicker heat-up of TWC. It Phase I, they showed that:

    1. Membranes with 5 times goal performance were developed and demonstrated stable performance.
    2. Economic analysis indicated membrane modules supplying 1500 scfh would weigh two pounds, occupy 0.13 cubic feet, and cost about $17.50.
    3. Oxygen enrichment significantly reduced HC/CO start-up emissions.

In Phase II, they will: 1) design, build and test full scale membrane modules; 2) install membrane modules in automobiles and demonstrate reduced cold-start emissions via FTP; and 3) run extensive membrane module tests in engine environment.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air pollution, engineering., Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, HAPS, mobile sources, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, emission control strategies, Federal Test Procedures, oxygen generating membranes, air pollutants, vehicle emissions, emission control technologies, hydrocarbon, ambient air, membrane technology , automotive emissions, automotive exhaust, automotive three way catalysts, air pollution, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, start-up emissions, emissions contol engineering, automotive emission controls, atmospheric chemistry

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

    On Board Oxygen Generating Membranes for Reduced Start-Up Emissions