In metropolitan areas, it is becoming increasingly urgent to find effective solutions for the reduction of air pollution, especially particulates - i.e. all those solid and liquid substances that are suspended in the air.
In urban areas, one of the principal sources of particulate are heating plants or combustion in the endothermic engines of vehicles. Direct action on these sources represents the most effective and immediate solution for improving urban air quality. Pirelli Eco Technology is focused on providing concrete, sustainable solutions to the problem of reducing particulate emissions. Pirelli Eco Technology offers the following products: GECAM, the white diesel™, “reduced particulate emission” fuel oil, and Feelpure™, a particulate filtering system.
GECAM, the white diesel™
GECAM™ - patented by the Group - is an emulsion of water (10%) and diesel for vehicle use and heating that permits reduction of particulate emissions by 50%. This result was achieved by using emulsified water, which can improve the combustion of diesel and reduce the production of nitrous oxides, one of the principal pollutants typically found in urban areas. GECAM™ has been tested by various national and international research institutes. In the vehicle fuel segment, Eni Tecnologie Laboratories have found reductions of more than 50% in particulate emissions, 5-6% of nitrous oxides and over 30% of carbon monoxide.
The tests conducted at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra on an Engine: IVECO-Cursor Euro 3. Cycle: stationary ESC pursuant to Directive 88/77 EEC -DIR 2001/77EC (ESC stationary cycle), show that the GECAM™ emulsified diesel can significantly reduce particulate and heavy duty vehicle emissions.
Sales of GECAM™ in 2008 were concentrated in the public transport, heavy duty transport, waste collection and earth moving segments.
Pirelli has been producing and developing Feelpure™ filtering systems since 2004 as mufflers to substitute the original equipment mufflers on diesel engines. The Feelpure™ filtering system reduces particulate emissions by over 95% on light commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, construction equipment and boats and ships powered by diesel engines and on all engines rated from EURO 0 to EURO 3. This performance is clearly illustrated in the tests carried out at Eni Tecnologie Laboratories:
The Pirelli Feelpure™ system combines the particulate filter (also known as FAP or DPF) with a regeneration technology based on the use of a specific catalysing additive (called CAM FBC). This is the most widespread and reliable technology available today.
Feelpure ™ is comprised by three components:
- a particulate filter in porous silicon carbide (SiC), fitted in a stainless steel can inside the muffler;
- an additive to be added to ordinary fuel, which permits complete combustion of the carbonaceous particulate previously trapped by the filter (regeneration process);
- a control unit that monitors the entire system, which detects counterpressure at the exhaust and the exceeding of alarm thresholds. It doses the additive to be added to the fuel on vehicles with this feature.
Recent tests, conducted by Eni Tecnologie Laboratories, the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra and the University of Biel under the VERT programme, have shown reductions of over 90% in mass particulate and 99% in finer particulate, over 90% in carbon monoxide and up to 69% of unburned hydrocarbons.
Certifications and recognition
Pirelli operates in compliance with the most rigorous standards imposed by various countries to limit harmful emissions and has received the most rigorous certifications at the international level. In Italy, Pirelli Eco Technology was the first to win approval, pursuant to Transport Ministry Decree no. 39 of 25 January 2008, for particulate filters for light and heavy duty commercial vehicles.
Bumbesti-Jiu, Romania, Pirelli Eco Technology.
Pirelli filters have also received some of the most important European certifications: they have been tested by the European Joint Research Centre in Ispra, obtained the VERT and BAFU certificates in Switzerland, received RDW approval on the Dutch market and LEC certifications for the Low Emission Zone in London.
Approval in key markets like Germany and China is expected in the first half of 2009.
Areas of activity
With its production facilities in the Milan area and the new plant in Romania, Pirelli Eco Technology aims to become one of the leading producers of particulate filters on the market, both as original equipment (new vehicles) and retrofit systems for vehicles already in use, with solutions that are applicable to all EURO0-EURO5 diesel engines and all transmission configurations.
Pirelli Eco Technology is based in Italy with commercial offices in major European countries.
One of its principal customers in Italy is the GTT consortium, the operator of public transport in Turin and the Region of Piedmont.
The new production plant for silicon carbide filters was opened at Bumbesti-Jiu, Gorj County, Romania in 2008. When it reaches full operating capacity, it will employee 500 workers and produce about 1100 tonnes annually.
It is expected to receive ISO-TS certification in 2009.
The product line has been expanded and the company has started to expand abroad:in England, where it participated at the presentation of the filters in the Low Emission Zone in London, while it reached an agreement with SITA (SUEZ ENVIRONMENT) in The Netherlands for the supply of about 300 Feelpure systems.
New products with a higher concentration of cells (CPSI) are being developed, which will permit better filtering performance and consolidation of its presence on the most interesting markets.
Pirelli Eco Technology began an experimental project in Beijing in 2008 that envisages installation of retrofit filtering systems on certain heavy duty vehicles owned by the city. This project, realised in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment for Protection of Italian Territory and Seas and with the Environmental Protection Bureau of the city of Beijing, is part of a vast Cooperation Programme between Italy and China for environmental protection (begun in 2000) that has realised over 80 projects for the development and experimentation of advanced technological solutions for sustainable development in the Asian country. In preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Italian Minister of Environment reinforced cooperation with the City of Beijing and supported the city in the “Green Olympics” programme through numerous projects in the field of mobility and sustainable urban planning and monitoring and control of air and water pollution and environmental education.
In December 2008 Pirelli & C. Eco Technology was elected “Best Investor of the Year” in the Gorj District of Romania. This was the decision of Antena 1, Romania’s top national commercial television broadcaster, which created the prize in 2008 with other organisations.