Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: John Fox, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Co-PI(s): H. Robert Gustafson, Jr., Enterprise Systems Center
PA Industry: Hunsicker Emission Services

Recent EPA regulation requires diesel engine manufacturers to filter fine particle pollution from engine exhaust. This has led to the development of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) technology, currently installed on 1.7 million on-road trucks and buses in the US. This has also created the need for a new industry to clean/recondition DPF filters, which are designed to last the lifetime of the engine, but require routine removal of non-combusted carbon (soot) and fuel/lubricant inorganic additive residue (ash) to achieve full useful life.

The current DPF cleaning process consists of using compressed air blowing out typically cost the owner two or more days in lost operating revenue, particularly for hard to clean filters. Hunsicker Emissions Services LLC is currently developing an innovative, data driven process technology to clean the DPF filters faster, and more efficiently, while using 50% less energy.

The significant improvent in process efficiency will create a PA based industry providing the only same-day DPF cleaning option, regardless of the level of DPF cleaning required, currently only offered through much more costly filter replacement.

The process technology will increase efficiency of transportation and construction industries in PA by improving fuel economy, reducing vehicle downtime and extending vehicle operation between cleanings. The data driven process will also provide fleet managers with prescriptive feedback for managing future DPF maintenance intervals.