SBIR Phase II: Vibration-Based Cleaning for Ash Removal from Diesel Particulate Filters

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Filter Sensing Tech., Inc.
38 Second Street, Cambridge, MA, 02141-0000
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Alexander Sappok
(617) 379-7330
Business Contact:
Alexander Sappok
(617) 379-7330
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a vibration-based cleaning system, the AccelaCleanTM, to dislodge and remove contaminants accumulated on ceramic filters. The feasibility of the concept was demonstrated in Phase I, and diesel particulate filters (DPF) are targeted as a promising application. Nearly all new diesel engines are equipped with DPFs to meet stringent emissions limits. The DPF is a porous ceramic honeycomb mounted in the exhaust, and traps up to 99% of soot emissions. Over time, ash builds up, plugging the DPF channels, negatively impacting fuel economy, and limiting the filters life. Efficient removal of the ash is challenging, as it generally packs in plugs toward the end of the channels. Current cleaning systems are ineffective, resulting in added fuel and maintenance costs, and reducing the life of these expensive filters that may cost more than $5,000. This research will investigate the use of controlled vibrations to target and break-up hard-packed ash in the DPF. The Phase II work will build on the efforts of Phase I, specifically focusing on increasing ash removal rates through anharmonic excitation of the filter, and ensuring filter integrity is not compromised by the cleaning method. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will enable improved engine efficiency and extend DPF component life. Over 33% of DPFs can not be cleaned to acceptable levels using currently available technologies, and nearly all cleaning methods leave some amount of residual ash in the DPF. Despite their inefficiencies, commercial ash cleaning systems are expensive. More effective DPF ash cleaning can provide considerable annual fuel and maintenance cost savings to the end-user, and enables more effective emission control system operation. The US and European DPF cleaning service market is large and rapidly growing, due in part to increasingly stringent emissions regulations. FSTs proposed DPF cleaning technology provides a more effective, simpler, and less expensive DPF cleaning solution. It reduces DPF ash-related fuel economy impacts, extends filter cleaning intervals, and improves emission control system durability and performance. This technology is not limited to emission control applications, but a wide range of filtration applications where effective filter cleaning is required.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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