Photo Credit: Sebastian Pflaum, TU Muenchen. Graduate engineer Sebastian Pflaum works on an experimental diesel engine at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen. The university’s chair for Internal Combustion Engines (under Prof. Georg Wachtmeister) is home to a Bavarian Research Foundation project called NEMo, meaning “lowest-emission diesel engine for trucks.” The engine emits barely measurable amounts of soot and nitrogen oxides.
Just three months after the Euro 5 Norm for exhaust emissions went into force for all new car models, researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have demonstrated an engine that is already close to meeting the more stringent Euro 6 emissions standard. A research team headed by Prof. Georg Wachtmeister from the Chair of Internal Combustion Engines has succeeded in reducing the pollutants in exhaust emissions to barely measurable levels. The TUM engineers have also developed a probe that allows them to take samples directly from the combustion chamber while the engine is running. With this method they hope to discover precisely how soot forms, with the aim of developing new methods for emissions control.
In a hall at the TUM Chair of Internal Combustion Engines (LVK) the smell of exhaust fumes is barely discernable, even though the two-ton LVK research engine is running at full power. The engine is the centerpiece of the research project NEMo (Niedrigst-Emissions-LKW-Dieselmotor), the German acronym for “lowest emission truck diesel engine.” The researchers want to design and fine-tune their engine so that it complies with the Euro 6 caps – without resorting to a catalytic converter.
The Euro 6 Norm, scheduled to come into force by 2014, is a tough standard by any measure. The directive stipulates emission levels that are barely measurable. A diesel engine, for instance, may emit a mere 5 milligrams of soot particles and 80 milligrams of nitrogen oxides per kilometer. That is a fifth of the soot and a quarter of the nitrogen oxides allowed by the Euro 4 Norm that was valid until August, and less than half of the nitrogen oxides permitted by the Euro 5 Norm. …