Optimized cleaning effect: the four-way conversion catalyst

March 2015

The Euro 6 standard of the European Commission proclaims a new policy package on clean air. Amongst others, particle emissions from direct-injection gasoline engines are controlled more strictly. The four-way conversion catalyst of BASF, in short FWC™, helps to meet these standards.

Therefore BASF researchers have further developed the three-way conversion catalyst and optimized its cleaning effect: “The FWC™ combines all the important properties in a single component and occupies less space,” underlines Dr. Klaus Harth, responsible for the research on automotive catalytic converters at BASF. Beyond, the FWC™ produces only a slight backpressure to the exhaust gas flow – an important aspect in the automotive industry, since the performance of the engine and the fuel efficiency are seriously affected by a high resistance for the exhaust gas flow.

Exhaust gas catalysts are made of a special ceramic support, the so-called monolith. In case of the FWC™ the porous inner walls of the monolith are specifically coated with catalytically active particles. These materials ensure the conversion of carbon monoxide, non-combusted hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides into water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. The monolith wall also acts as a filter for particulates. Even after more than 160,000 kilometers driven, the FWC™ still cleans the exhaust gas effectively, achieving stringent emission limits.

Launched in 2013, the system is now in the development and test phase with automotive manufacturers – always with a view to serial production: “In a few years, our system will be part of the established technology for exhaust emissions clean-up,” says Harth.