What are gasoline particulate filters?
As climate change worsens and the number of cars on the road continues to escalate, many countries have passed legislation to lower carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants from vehicles. Among these laws are regulations that require new cars with gasoline direct injection engines be installed with gasoline particulate filters that remove fine particulate matter from vehicle exhaust systems.
Gasoline particulate filters can capture up to 99% of particulate matter that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, making them a highly efficient tool for reducing toxic pollutants. And as more governments pass legislation to require them, the global market for these filters is expected to skyrocket to nearly $11 billion USD by 2027.
Gasoline particulate filters for reducing #pollution are in high demand, and manufacturers need a fast way to test their performance. With our Avizo #Software, @Johnson_Matthey is helping usher in the next generation of cleaner vehicles.
— Microscopy & Spectroscopy (@thermosciEMSpec) March 28, 2022
One manufacturer that is working to develop gasoline particulate filters is Johnson Matthey, a British multinational specialty chemicals and sustainable technologies company. The company’s technology centers are a part of its research arm where scientists develop new filter designs and test their efficiency to improve the manufacturing process. X-ray tomography in combination with Thermo Scientific Avizo Software plays an integral role in visualizing and analyzing such data.
How gasoline particulate filters work
Gasoline particulate filters use a honeycomb-like filter built from synthetic ceramic material to trap pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine particles as the exhaust gas passes through. These particles are then burned and the filter regenerated when the exhaust temperature is high.
For gasoline particulate filters to function effectively, one of the key factors is the porosity of the washcoat and substrate of the filter. Specifically, the performance of the filter is determined by the transport of gas through the channels and interconnecting pores that provide access to the catalyst-active sites.
Investigating gasoline particulate filter porosity
As researchers at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre develop filter designs, they’re using X-ray tomography to capture detailed images—and then visualizing this data using Avizo Software, which allows them to instantly separate the washcoat, substrate, and pores into different colors for easy analysis.
Once this segmentation is complete, the researchers can automatically measure properties such as percentage composition of the washcoat, substrate, and pores; and the size, distribution, and connectivity of pores through color coding the connected pore regions—instantly visualizing their results in 3D.
Rapid and reliable analysis with Avizo Software
Johnson Matthey researchers say they chose Avizo Software because it gives them a rapid and reliable process for optimizing their gasoline particulate filter designs.
“Avizo was chosen as the software of choice due to its ease of use coupled with comprehensive data analysis toolkits, said Aakash M. Varambhia, Data Scientist at Johnson Matthey Technology Centre. “The seamless integration of the visualization, porosity analysis, meshing and simulation modules allows our researchers to perform analysis under a single framework. Prior to upgrading to Avizo a sizable portion of the workflow involved importing and exporting data between various proprietary software to achieve the same results. We no longer need to do this because Avizo allows us to automate this workflow.”
As the market for gasoline particulate filters continues to grow, manufacturers need a fast way to test the performance of these filters. With the power of Avizo Software, Johnson Matthey researchers are leading the way as they work to usher in the next generation of cleaner vehicles.
This blog post was written in collaboration with a team from Johnson Matthey, including Data Scientist Aakash M. Varambhia, Principal Scientist Gareth D. Hatton and Senior Principal Analyst Dogan Ozkaya.
Germain Siraudin is a Marketing Program Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific.