Researchers are focusing on neurons in a bid to find newer ways of saving fuel during several operations of filters that clean particulate matter, soot or carbon released by vehicles. Researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are researching on the process of ash and soot collection and removal associated with particulate filters with the help of neutron imaging, a method that is highly sensitive and can also detect fine depositions of materials.
Researchers are using the beamline CG-1D, the advanced Neutron Imaging Facility instrument at the lab’s High Flux Isotope Reactor and are examining structures of particulate deposition layers caused due to the burning of a variety of gasoline fuels. Particulate filters have become mandatory in all diesel vehicles in the U.S. since 2007 as a measure of controlling soot emission. Researchers are now examining how these filters can be used for gasoline-based direct-injection engines, which are known to generate and emit particles that are smaller even than the ones generated by diesel engines.
The team of researchers is deciphering the difference between the ways that gasoline and diesel particulates interact with commonly used particulate filters and find out the best way to manage operations of the filter in the two categories. The team states that the key purpose of its research is to develop more fuel-efficient automobiles, by understanding how soot is regenerated in diesel vehicles so as to improve the vehicle’s fuel economy or by analyzing how a gasoline filter of the future can be made to handle soot in a better manner.