• Mar 29th 2010 at 1:02PM
  • 4
Not only is topping off your clean diesel's fancy selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system with urea a bit expensive, but if you don't keep it topped off, your car may not start at all.
Well, GE and Umicore have announced they've signed a Technology License agreement to commercialize a hydrocarbon selective lean NOx catalyst (HC-LNC) aftertreatment designed to control diesel NOx emissions that doesn't use urea. The catalyst is being designed for off-highway and on-road vehicles, marine applications and even stationary power markets (i.e. generators).

GE's lean NOx catalyst system, also referred to as hydrocarbon selective catalytic reduction (HC-SCR), can use diesel fuel or E85 as the reductant instead of urea. The system is being developed as presumably a lower-cost and more readily available alternative to the urea-based SCR technology used by Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and others to meet stringent Tier 2 Bin 5 emission standards. In those systems, urea is stored in liquid form in a tank on-board the vehicle and slowly injected into the exhaust stream where it forms ammonia that reacts with the NOx and converts it to water and nitrogen.

Though Mercedes' urea solution – AdBlue – was originally said to cost around $4 a gallon to replenish, we've heard it costs around $32 a gallon plus labor to have the AdBlue topped off by the dealer. Details are pretty slim, but If GE's catalyst system really does scrub diesel emissions using petroleum diesel or E85, that $4 a gallon mark might once again be a reality.

[Source: DieselNet]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Adblue is sold at the filling stations here in Germany, sometimes from a pump. About 2.5€ / gallon ($3.50). About 10€ will take you about 10k to 15k miles. With prices that low it's hard to justify
      1) putting too much effort into changing the system unless the hardware on the car was significantly cheaper in the short or long run
      2) coming up with an at-home urea, um, separator.
      3) ignoring the system. It's pretty easy, a light tells you when to do it, and it's cheaper than diesel fuel. The effort and frequency is on the level of refilling wiper fluid.

      The $32/gallon is part dealer rip-off, part BMW rip-off. Anyone check VW dealers in the U.S.?
      • 8 Months Ago
      Doesn't our...uhm....pee...have urea in it? Could I just....uhm...fill my own tank?

      Just sayin'....
      • 8 Months Ago
      What stops people from just adding diesel or alcohol or something to the AdBlue tank instead of the proprietary urea solution? Is the sensor really sophisticated enough to discern between different chemicals?
        • 8 Months Ago
        No, it can't tell the chemicals apart in the tank. But it perhaps can tell the exhaust isn't in spec.
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