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NTHU Researcher Develops a Revolutionary Emission-control Device
To reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in automobile exhaust and boiler flue gas, three years ago Professor Huang Ta-jen of the Department of Chemical Engineering invented the "electro-catalytic honeycomb (ECH)." After three years of development and testing, this revolutionary device is finally ready for production. The ECH is a most compact device for the novel technology of promoted NOx decomposition (PND) and promoted SO2 decomposition (PSD). Small in size and low in cost, it is expected to fully replace the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology currently used to remove nitrogen oxide from automobile exhaust and the current desulfurization systems for removing sulfur dioxide from boiler flue gas. Furthermore, the ECH allows considerable enhancement of the combustion efficiency.
 
The ECH has been patented in Europe, America, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Canada, and major automobile companies in Europe, Japan and Korea are currently considering applying it to their vehicles. Prof. Huang presented his invention at the 11th International CTI (Car Training Institute) Conference: SCR Systems held in July in Stuttgart, Germany. Sponsored by CTI, this is Europe’s biggest and best conference on SCR technologies.
 
According to Prof. Huang, more than eighty percent of the energy currently produced relies on combustion, and the higher the combustion temperature, the higher the combustion efficiency. However, high-temperature combustion is accompanied by the production of large amounts of nitrogen oxides, toxic gases which pollute the air. In order to bring nitrogen oxides emissions within the increasingly stringent standards, during the 1970s major automakers adopted a combustion process in which the exhaust is recirculated and cooled, and then mixed with the fuel to reduce the combustion temperature and thus the amount of nitrogen oxides produced. However, this process is not very effective in reducing NOx pollution but significantly reduces combustion efficiency. Thus, the SCR System has to be used for NOx reduction, which requires the use and refilling of the reducing agents. This is not only costly but also inconvenient. The number of automobiles produced every year continues to increase, and the air pollution continues to worsen, making technology for reducing the amount of nitrogen oxides a must-be-solved problem. Hence this year’s CTI conference has posted the ECH as an innovation at the first place. Prof. Huang’s newly developed technology doesn’t require any reducing agent, and directly converts nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and oxygen. However, early prototypes of the PND device were too large to be practical. While working on solving this problem, three years ago Prof. Huang suddenly thought of the honeycomb-type device that he was familiar with years ago when he was conducting research in the United States and decided to try out an entirely new structure for his invention.
 
Prof. Huang says that at present the vast majority of SCR devices used to reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions produced by cars require using a urea solution as a reducing agent, but this results in the production of ammonia as a hazardous byproduct. By contrast, using the ECH to remove nitrogen oxides doesn’t require a reducing agent, thereby greatly simplifying the NOx removal system and reducing the manufacturing cost. In addition, Huang’s ECH allows considerable enhancement of the combustion efficiency and thus considerable reduction of fuel use, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Prof. Huang says that he hopes this invention will benefit mankind by reducing air pollution and that if any non-profit institutions are willing to promote it, he would be willing to authorize the use of it free of charge. He would like to see his invention to be used in every car, every engine, and every boiler around the world.
 
 Prof. Huang demonstrating his revolutionary Electro-Catalytic Honeycomb.

Prof. Huang demonstrating his revolutionary Electro-Catalytic Honeycomb.

 The Electro-Catalytic Honeycomb represents a completely new approach to removing nitrogen oxides from automobile exhaust.

The Electro-Catalytic Honeycomb represents a completely new approach to removing nitrogen oxides from automobile exhaust.

 

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