With ever-tightening emissions norms and the upcoming move to BS VI in 2020, automotive OEMs and technology suppliers in India are gearing up in a big way to make sure that they’re ready with cleaner, greener products for the future. As OEMs race ahead with accelerated engine R&D efforts, combined with the development of aftertreatment systems for reduced emissions, they are getting valuable technology inputs from their suppliers. Once such company, which is working closely with automotive OEMs towards providing products and technologies for BS VI compliance, is Corning India. We caught up with Amit Bansal, Managing Director, Corning India, to discuss the company’s technology expertise, requirements and challenges in the context of upcoming norms, and the ways in which Corning India is partnering with auto OEMs to work towards BS VI compliance.
In the automotive space, Corning’s primary area of expertise is with cellular ceramic substrates, which it developed in the early-1970s, and particulate filters, which together form the basis for automotive emissions control systems, for both petrol and diesel passenger vehicles, as well as commercial vehicles. While emissions norms are becoming increasingly strict now, Corning has already been working with automotive OEMs in India for three decades, providing its products and process expertise for reducing emissions.
The biggest challenge that we see, as a tech supplier, is that we’ve leapfrogged from BS IV to BS VI. We’re the first country in the world which has leapfrogged to BS VI, which is good in a way since it’s a much cleaner standard than BS V, said Bansal. The challenge that OEMs will face is how they tune their engines, what kind of engine strategies do they put in place, and how do they cost effectively integrate all solutions, whether cellular ceramic technology from Corning, or electronic sensors, he added.
India is still a predominantly small car market and due to government subsidies on diesel fuel, small diesel-engined cars have become popular over the last few years. We see a challenge with small diesel cars, where the cost of emission controls is going to go up quite a bit. OEMs will have to navigate that cost challenge, said Bansal. We’re already providing Euro VI products and technology in European markets and we will bring some of that technology to the Indian market, he added.
RANGE OF SOLUTIONS
There are three kinds of emissions – carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. We have products that will reduce or eliminate these emissions. First, we have our cellular ceramic substrates – once you port them with the right products, they will help reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Carbon monoxide will be converted to carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons will be converted to carbon dioxide and water, explained Bansal.
For nitrogen oxides, let me take a step back. We have petrol and diesel engines, which have different behaviours. We have products that cater to both of them and the objective in both of these is to get rid of all three types of emissions. With BS VI coming in, the next step also is to reduce particulate matter. (From BS IV to BS VI, norms for particulate matter are becoming much more stringent, with a required reduction of 82 % in the same). We have filters to achieve this. We have diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and gasoline particulate filters (GPFs) to help OEMs reduce particulate matter, explained Bansal.
Diesel engines will require additional products – all diesel cars, starting 2020, will require a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) coating and a diesel particulate filter. With petrol engines, only GDI engines [which actually offer better fuel economy, but produce more emissions] will require GPFs – not from 2020, but from 2023, when the next stage of BS VI is implemented. Non-GDI engines can only do with a DOC, said Bansal. Depending on the size of the petrol engine and how well tuned it is, you can do with just the substrate, he added.
To meet BS VI requirements, petrol engines will require thin-walled substrates, which are cellular ceramic substrates, which would be coated with a catalyst. As the emissions happen, they will go into the substrate and as the chemical reactions happen with the catalyst, emissions will be reduced. As we move to 2023, when the new requirements for reducing particulate matter will also come into effect, we will have to use a GPF. At that point, the soot coming out will also be measured and will have to be below a certain number. GPF will capture that soot, explained Bansal. Moving to diesel, we will have a substrate which has a coating of DOC. Also, we’ll need to use selective catalyst reduction (SCR), and for that we’ll also need another component, which is called ammonia or urea, which will be used to convert nitrogen oxide to nitrogen dioxide and water. Beyond that, there will still be a DPF requirement to capture soot, he added.
THE WAY FORWARD
Going ahead, to meet more stringent emissions norms, it will have to be a combination of advanced engine development, as well as improved aftertreatment systems. Corning works closely with OEMs and provides services like modelling and simulation, prototyping and vehicle testing. We have a flexible suite of products and work with OEMs to provide products as per their requirement.
The move to BS IV has opened up new opportunities for us. With the move to BS VI and more stringent regulations from 2020, there will be more opportunities – there will be a growing market for Corning in India, concluded Bansal.
TEXT: Sameer Kumar