To keep ahead of the competition, the automotive industry needs to identify and realise innovative research developments in chemistry, materials science and engineering. A deep understanding of fundamental processes such as catalysis and detailed knowledge of material properties on the molecular scale is vital to developing and maintaining competitive advantage and minimising impact on the environment.
Diamond provides specialist synchrotron analytical techniques for the atomic to microscale characterisation of materials ranging from catalytic materials and novel advanced components through to coatings and motor oils.
Fuels and Lubricants
Particulate matter (PM) pollution remains a major public health concern. The installation of particulate filters on the exhaust of road vehicles with combustion engines has been critical in capturing PM before they pollute the environment.
However, the deposits cause the permeability of the filter to change continuously, and over time, without remediation, it can lead to excessive back-pressure from the exhaust, lowering the fuel efficiency of the engine and increasing greenhouse emissions.Read more...
Organic Friction Modifiers (OFMs) are surfactants included in engine oil formulations. They adsorb on metal surfaces, forming compact surface layers that act as protective coatings to reduce friction and wear occurring between mechanical engine parts.
The use of OFMs is associated with more energy-efficient engines and a reduction in CO2 emissions. The design of effective new formulations and novel OFMs relies on a detailed understanding of how OFMs self-assemble at interfaces and how their surface structure changes with tribological conditions.Read more...
Poor air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions are at the forefront of public discussion, as well as being high on the agenda of worldwide policy makers. Many industries are embracing rapid changes in response, as is especially visible in the automotive sector, with the introduction of technologies such as gasoline particulate filters (GPFs). GPFs are positioned in a vehicle’s exhaust system and filter fine particulate matter (PM) produced by the engine. Recent legislation in places such as China, India and Europe will drive the adoption of GPFs on the majority of new gasoline, and hybrid electric, vehicles.
Whilst GPFs benefit public health and the environment by filtering out PM, they can also become gradually blocked by collected material. Captured carbonaceous particles (e.g. soot) can routinely oxidize away; however, inorganic PM (e.g. ash) typically remains in the filter for life, slowly blocking it and potentially reducing the fuel economy and power of the vehicle. Inorganic PM is predominantly derived from engine oil additive chemistry, which plays an important role in improving fuel economy, performance, and engine lifetime.Read more...
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