Catalytic converter heating element slashes emissions

Catalytic converter heating element slashes emissions

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In order to reduce the pollutant emissions of combustion engines, the automotive supplier Eberspächer, which specialises in heating and exhaust systems, has developed an electric heating catalyst (Electrically Heated Catalyst) for the exhaust gas catalytic converters. During the cold-start phase, these reduce NOx emissions by up to 90 percent.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


In the course of the new Euro 7 emission standard, the automotive industry expects a significant reduction of exhaust gas limits such as HC, CO and NOx. With its Active Heating product family, Eberspächer is driving forward concepts for the further reduction of pollutant emissions. Depending on the requirements of the OEM, the vehicle geometry and the available installation space, the exhaust specialist works with its customers on the series-production readiness of various solutions. In the first step, the experts are exploiting the potential for reducing emissions in the cold-start phase. If required, the EHC Lamella Heater heats up the exhaust gas purification system even before the engine is started and thus increases the efficiency of the exhaust gas purification already at the beginning of the journey.

Eberspächer sees the potential for further emission reduction in fuel-powered passenger cars primarily in the cold-start phase. Catalytic converters require a certain minimum temperature in order to work efficiently and thus clean the exhaust gases. Depending on the distance and profile of the journey, this is only reached in the course of engine operation. Eberspächer is presenting the EHC Lamella Heater, an electrically heated catalytic converter, as the first series product. In future, it will bring the catalytic converter and exhaust gas flow in the exhaust gas purification system up to temperature more quickly. An additional control unit starts, controls and monitors the heating process. As a system supplier, Eberspächer offers the combination of EHC Lamella Heater and Control Unit as a complete package.

The EHC Lamella Heater guides the exhaust gas flow over pre-heated lamellas at the inlet of the exhaust system. It is installed directly in front of the catalytic converters in diesel and petrol-powered vehicles in order to generate the necessary temperatures at the optimum point. As tested under applicable test conditions, the earlier activation of the SCR system reduces NOx emissions by up to 90 percent, for example. The fins can also be catalytically coated and make an additional contribution to cleaning the exhaust gases. The solution can be used in conjunction with both metal and ceramic catalytic converters. Due to its special design, the EHC Lamella Heater is operated with 48V, but can be designed for 400V for hybrid vehicle applications.

The compact EHC Lamella Heater can be integrated into conventional exhaust systems. In contrast to fuel burner technology, the electrically operated heating catalyst does not require fuel or an additional ignition source. The fast-acting electrical heating of the EHC, which acts on the flowing exhaust gas, ensures that the exhaust gas purification system is fully functional within seconds of the engine starting.

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