Auto Industry Urged to Focus on Improving Air Quality

DuPont Greater China President Tony Su urges leaders from the auto industry to collaborate on ideas to address what he calls ‘controllable’ causes of emissions contributing to air-quality challenges facing Beijing and other parts of China. “Finding solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires both short-term and long-term solutions that begin with collaboration,” said Su.

Fossil-fuel combustion is identified as one of the major sources of particulates and pollution blanketing Beijing and many parts of China. DuPont, with a long and rich history with the automotive industry, has many active programs that reduce fossil-fuel use by improving fuel economy.

DuPont is also engaged with global automakers on programs that reduce particulate-causing chemicals, such as hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, while also working to develop alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels.

“Challenges of this magnitude seldom see a single solution,” said Miles Wang, director of the recently opened DuPont Automotive Center located in DuPont China Research & Development Center in Shanghai. “Automakers and suppliers are working on several breakthroughs simultaneously. At the center is materials science.”

DuPont Advanced Materials Applications

In diesel-fuel vehicles, identified as a source of particulates and NOx, DuPont® Zytel® HTN PPA can replace metal to keep weight off selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. Used on 80 percent of European vehicles and mandated in the US, these urea-based systems “scrub” particulate-causing nitrogen oxide (NOx) from diesel exhaust by turning exhaust into harmless nitrogen (N) gas and water vapor.

DuPont™ Teflon® fluoropolymers can play a critical role in enabling oxygen sensors in automotive exhaust systems, enhancing engine control in a way that allows for up to 95 percent reduction in NOx, CO and hydrocarbon emissions.

Replacing metal with lightweight advanced plastics directly improves fuel economy and reduces vehicle emissions. Chery Automotive recently adopted DuPont™ Zytel® nylon resin and DuPont™ Vamac® ethylene acrylic elastomer in components ranging from the air-intake manifold and cylinder head cover to air ducts. Together the components account for about 30-40 percent decrease in component weight compared with their metal counterpart, generating a significant increase in fuel economy and reduction in CO2 emissions.

“The goal is to build on the success of collaborative programs like these to continue to drive even more weight and cost from emerging applications in chassis, suspension and exhaust systems,” said Ryan Peng, automotive marketing manager in Greater China – DuPont Performance Polymers. “Collaboration facilities like the DuPont Automotive Center coupled with advanced materials and application development capabilities can help us all to develop new ideas that reduce NOx and emissions and get them into the market quickly.”

DuPont is also working on global automotive programs that:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from air-conditioning systems through use of a new, highly efficient refrigerant with a low global warming potential;

  • Improve vehicle efficiency by using advanced materials that reduce rolling resistance in tires and lower friction in moving parts in the transmission and driveline;

  • Improve the range of hybrid and electric vehicles through advanced battery separator materials and battery chemistries. These complement programs to reduce weight and systems cost through use of high-performance “electrically friendly” materials for cables, connectors, motors, inverters and more.

DuPont offers more than 100 materials and product families for the global automotive industry. Through its global application development network, DuPont Automotive is committed to collaborating with customers throughout the value chain to develop new products, materials, components and systems that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and protect people and the environment.

DuPont has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.

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