VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ricardo today announced that it has achieved a significant milestone in its advanced diesel research with the achievement of Tier II Bin 5 emissions from an automotive diesel engine without the use of NOx aftertreatment. This research continues with the aim of demonstrating clean diesel technology capable of achieving U.S. Super Ultra-Low Emission (SULEV) and Tier II Bin 2 requirements. By achieving this milestone Ricardo has positioned the advanced diesel alongside gasoline hybrid and fuel cell powered vehicles as future high fuel-economy, environmentally friendly automotive products. Started in late 2005, the early stages of the research project has been focused on developing technologies to deliver engine-out exhaust emissions without NOx aftertreatment that achieve the stringent Tier II Bin 5 US emission requirements, delivering NOx levels approximately one-sixth those of Euro 5. These technologies include advanced air handling systems, two-stage series-sequential turbocharging, advanced exhaust gas recirculation, and application of closed-loop cylinder pressure-based engine controls. In parallel an advanced exhaust aftertreatment system has been developed which combines a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF). When combined with engine optimization, this has delivered Tier II Bin 5 emission levels without NOx aftertreatment. Further research has established the feasibility of adding a lean NOx trap (LNT) into the system. And, through simulation and test results, early predictions indicate that the diesel will be capable of meeting the requirements of US SULEV/Tier II Bin 2 emissions standards, thereby achieving NOx levels less than one-tenth of the Euro 5 levels. Throughout the project, a major emphasis has been placed on achieving low emissions under transient conditions to maintain or improve the fun to drive responsiveness of the engine without deteriorating emissions performance. The engine has been developed with a competitive power rating of 65kW/l to meet U.S. emissions regulations for both sea level and altitude compliance. Having demonstrated these accomplishments on the test bed, the powertrain has now been installed in a test vehicle to enable calibration refinement and validation. In the coming months Ricardo intends to carry out extensive vehicle testing to validate the achievement of SULEV/Tier II Bin 2, currently the world's cleanest emissions standard. In doing so, the research team aims to maintain or improve engine responsiveness and customer appeal, while also delivering a significant fuel economy and CO2 improvement over current US equivalent gasoline engines. Commenting on the achievement of this significant clean diesel research milestone, Dean Harlow, president of Ricardo, Inc., said: "The achievement of Tier II Bin 5 engine-out emissions without NOx aftertreatment is a major breakthrough and puts us squarely on the path to achieving our ultimate objective of Tier II Bin 2, the world's cleanest emissions standard. By applying a systems engineering approach which combines engine-out optimization with advanced aftertreatment, we have demonstrated that the diesel can provide a clean, fun to drive, cost-effective, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly solution for the vehicles of tomorrow. While there clearly remain many challenges in translating this research into high volume production solutions, this achievement provides significant new confidence in the future viability of the clean diesel in North America." Regarding the international applicability of the developed technology Ian Penny, Ricardo's global diesel product group director, said: "The advanced diesel technologies developed and demonstrated through this research project are extremely attractive in the European as well as the North American market. While the future emissions regulations are different for both regions, the technology we have demonstrated as being capable of achieving Tier II Bin 2 US emissions standards is also highly applicable to the challenge of providing cost-optimized CO2 reduction solutions for EU6 and beyond in Europe." With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia, Ricardo is a leading independent technology provider and deep-content strategic management consultant to the world's transportation sector industries. The company's engineering expertise ranges from vehicle systems integration, controls, electronics and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell powertrain technologies. Its customers include the world's major automakers, tier 1 suppliers and leading motorsport teams. The headquarters of Ricardo's U.S. operations, Ricardo, Inc., is located at Van Buren Township, Michigan. The company's skill base represents the state-of-the-art in low emissions and fuel-efficient powertrain technology, and can be best summarized: "Ricardo is Fuel Economy." Ricardo plc posted sales of $320 million in financial year 2006 and is a constituent of the FTSE techMark 100 index -- a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information visit www.ricardo.com.
SOURCE Ricardo Inc.