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August 27th, 2007

High-sensitivity, rapid-response nanotechnology NOx sensor

Koichi Hamamoto,a post-doctoral Research Scientist in the Functional Assembly Technology Group at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has developed a high-sensitive nitrogen oxide (NOx) sensor with a rapid response.

Strenuous efforts are being made to develop clean-burn technologies for gasoline-fueled vehicles to comply with societal demands for reducing CO2 emissions and better fuel consumption. However, although clean-burn engines produce less CO2 emissions, they produce more NOx emissions than conventional engines. Existing three-way catalysts cannot be used to eliminate NOx emissions under lean combustion because of the high concentration of oxygen in the exhaust gases. Instead of the three-way catalyst, a practical clean-burn engine uses a NOc storage-reduction catalyst system. A NOc trap material in this catalyst absorbs NOx during lean-burn condition. When the catalyst becomes saturated with NOx, a rich spike (excessive fuel supply) is generated in the engine, and this excessive amounts of fuel reduces and purifies the absorbed NOx.


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