Ricardo Announces Clean Diesel Technology Breakthrough

Sep 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from Ricardo Inc.

    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

SOURCE Ricardo Inc.