Low-Temperature Oxidation Catalyst

Low-Temperature Oxidation Catalyst Low-Temperature Oxidation Catalyst  (hi-res image)
The current standard for controlling pollutants in automotive exhaust incorporates Platinum Group Metal (PGM) catalysts. These catalysts are unfortunately very expensive, and they struggle with oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon pollutants at lower temperatures. As engine fuel efficiency improves, less energy is wasted as heat in the exhaust resulting in lower exhaust temperatures, and catalysts have more difficulty achieving the necessary efficiency for pollution control. Therefore, engines require more advanced catalysts that are capable of operating at lower temperatures to meet newer, and stricter, emission regulations. Researchers at ORNL have developed a low-temperature oxidation catalyst that is capable of meeting these new industry needs. ORNL’s catalyst is composed of cerium, cobalt, and copper, in addition to traditional components of PGM catalysts. This catalyst offers improved low-temperature oxidation at a lower cost than traditional PGM catalysts. ORNL’s catalyst offers performance advantages for engines today as well as new fuel-efficient engine technologies of the future including hybrid vehicles.

This project was accepted into TIP with the goals of scaling up cerium, cobalt, and copper (CCC) material to >1kg batch size, coating CCC material and PGMs on a cordierite substrate monolith for engine study, and comparing the full-scale CCC catalyst with state-of-the-art commercial catalysts. Since the project began, Dr. Parks’ team has developed a procedure for making large batches of active catalysts with even better reactivity than predicted, and they have transferred the technique to a company to produce 10 kg batches of active catalyst powder.  Once the full-scale catalyst is produced, engine studies will be conducted at ORNL’s National Transportation Research Center engine dynamometer laboratories.

The biggest advantage of this technology is that it can oxidize pollutants at lower temperatures than ever before with lower overall cost. In addition to automotive and trucking applications, the catalyst offers similar advantages for power generation from stationary sources such as gas turbines.

For more information, or to obtain an application to license this technology, please contact David Sims at 865-241-3808 or simsdl@ornl.gov.  Additional information can be found on our FedBizOpps listing .

Intellectual Property

Low Temperature Oxidation Catalyst

Non-provisional US Patent Application 15/134,449

Invention Disclosure No. 201403345

Technology Summaries

Fact Sheet

Press Release

Applied Catalysis and Emissions Research Group


Andrew J. Binder, Todd J. Toops, Raymond R. Unocic, James E. Parks II, Sheng Dai, “Low Temperature CO Oxidation over Ternary Oxide with High Resistance to Hydrocarbon Inhibition”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition.