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Eberspaecher Leads in Heavy Truck Emissions Technology


NOVI, Mich. December 1, 2008: Eberspaecher North America, Inc. has developed exhaust technology that will enable heavy-truck engine manufacturers to meet stringent new EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) emissions standards without sacrificing fuel economy.

New exhaust systems under development at Eberspaecher can reduce critical heavy-truck emissions by a total of up to 90 percent, according to Martin Romzek, the company’s vice president – Development.

“These new aftertreatment systems combine the benefits of conventional diesel particulate filters with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology,” Romzek said.

He pointed out that SCR technology being introduced for 2010 has the ability to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions alone by up to 95 percent compared to reductions of only about 50 percent achieved by “NOx trap” technology under development by others.

“As a result of this technology, engine manufacturers now can rely on aftertreatment to comply with emissions requirements, while at the same time setting engine controls for peak performance and fuel efficiency,” he noted.

Compared to NOx trap systems, it’s estimated that SCR technology can deliver fuel economy improvements of between five and 10 percent – critically important in an industry where fuel is a major operating expense.

SCR systems convert NOx into harmless nitrogen and water using a urea-water solution injected into the exhaust stream. The urea solution evaporates and decomposes into ammonia gas, which in turn converts nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water through a selective catalytic reduction process.

“The performance of our heavy-truck aftertreatment systems depends heavily on how we integrate catalyst and filtration technologies into a single package,” Romzek explained. “The challenge is to optimize these complex systems, while taking into account a variety of variables such as backpressure, thermodynamic performance and packaging space.

“At the same time, we have to maintain durability and overall quality to ensure that the system lives as long as the engine itself.”

To engineer its new commercial-vehicle systems, he said that Eberspaecher relied on its analytical tools and methodologies developed as a leading supplier of automotive exhaust systems.

“We’ve placed a lot of confidence in our virtual validation tools such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to develop such large and complex systems,” he explained. “Trial and error testing isn’t feasible given the scale and pace of these major programs.”

Based at the company’s North American headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Mich., the Eberspaecher executive said that new 2010 heavy-truck exhaust systems may weigh up to 400 pounds or more compared to about 30 pounds for the company’s lightweight automotive exhaust systems.

Nearly 250,000 heavy-duty trucks are sold in North America annually. Stringent emissions requirements for heavy trucks in the U.S. will soon be applied to off-highway vehicles as well. Off-highway diesel particulate regulations go into effect in 2011, followed by NOx standards in 2014.

Eberspaecher annually invests an average of six percent of its net sales in the global development of exhaust-system technologies. Its expertise is based on more than 35 years of experience developing sophisticated automotive and commercial-vehicle systems designed to meet stringent emissions and fuel economy requirements throughout the world.

Today, the company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of aftertreatment technology for commercial vehicles and passenger cars. Eberspaecher’s own heavy-truck programs were further enhanced by the acquisition of Daimler’s PUREM subsidiary in 2007 and the formation of the company’s Commercial Vehicle Business Unit led by Bernd Hofmann, the former CEO of PUREM.

“We have sufficient development and production resources to capture a significant share of the fast-growing market for commercial vehicle exhaust systems,” said Dr. Thomas Wuensche, CEO of the company’s Exhaust Technology group.

“With innovative individual components perfectly tuned for complex chemical, thermal, mechanical and electronic interactions within an exhaust system, we can help our customers meet the regulatory and performance challenges they face in both Europe and North America.”

Headquartered in Esslingen, Germany, the Eberspaecher Group reported annual revenues of $3.1 billion in 2007. Eberspaecher’s two operating divisions – Exhaust Technology and Vehicle Heating – have 5,500 employees working in 19 countries. More information is available on the Internet at EBERSPAECHER.

The company also continues to develop new technologies to further grow its automotive business. Passenger-car developments recently announced by Eberspaecher include ActiveSilence noise-canceling technology and lightweight exhaust systems for hybrid, as well as conventional vehicles.