Novel 3D nanostructured catalyst for addressing current and future automotive and commercial vehicle emission aftertreatment needs

Sissi  Liu, Metalmark Innovationc, Inc.

In order to reduce the amount of vehicles-produced air pollution and comply with increasingly tightening environment protection regulations, automobile manufacturers are constantly looking for solutions to increase the efficiency of engines, coupled with effective exhaust aftertreatment systems. A significant hindrance in this endeavor is the inability of current aftertreatment technologies to provide the required catalytic activity at low exhaust temperatures (below 250°C) – a problem known as cold start, while  maintaining catalyst stability at high temperatures (above 650°C for diesel-fueled vehicles and 1000oC for gasoline-based ones) for extended periods of time (e.g. 10 years). Each of these aspects represents a complex multiscale issue from a catalyst development perspective.

Metalmark Innovations, Inc. is an early-stage startup offering a fundamentally new approach in catalyst design. Our patented platform technology, developed at Harvard University, provides dramatically improved control over catalyst composition and structure through rational design of their 3D features on multiple length-scales. Importantly, our catalyst can be formed with nanoscale precision over structural and compositional features while employing scalable wet chemistry fabrication methods.

Compared to the currently used state-of-the-art catalysts, our prototypes have demonstrated reduced light-off and operating temperatures, enhanced activity, exceptional level of stability under high-temperature reaction conditions, and reduced precious metal content. Furthermore, our catalysts can be applied as a coating on ceramic or metallic monoliths without significant changes to the conventional coating processes.

In our presentation, we will share some of the latest and exciting results on our performance in representative reactions. We are looking for engagement with industry to gather expert feedback in order to complete the next phase of our technology validation.