Eaton’s Vehicle Group and Tenneco’s Clean Air business group have entered an agreement to produce an integrated exhaust thermal management system that will enable commercial truck and light vehicle manufacturers to meet upcoming emissions regulations.
Under terms of the agreement, Tenneco’s Cold Start Thermal Unit (CSTU) will be combined with Eaton’s TVS blower technology. The integrated exhaust thermal management system will provide heat directly to the vehicle’s aftertreatment system, which is essential for reducing harmful exhaust emissions.
Upon heating the SCR catalyst to approximately 200–250 degrees Celsius (392–482 degrees Fahrenheit), the aftertreatment system can efficiently convert nitrogen oxide into clean emissions (e.g., nitrogen and water particles) upon exiting the SCR catalyst. Eaton’s electrically driven TVS Roots blower allows the airflow to be precisely controlled so the CSTU can maintain optimal aftertreatment temperatures.
“CSTU is an active thermal management technology that rapidly heats and maintains the emission control system temperature,” said Nick Morley, director of global advanced engineering in Tenneco’s Clean Air business group, in a press release. “Since the majority of emissions are generated during the initial start of engine operation and during extended idle conditions, the addition of an integrated exhaust thermal management system in front of the catalyst enables rapid light-off and efficient NOx conversion through the full range of operating conditions.”
The CSTU and TVS blower will be sold individually by Tenneco and Eaton, respectively, but will be engineered as a system enabling vehicle manufacturers to seamlessly integrate the components.
Development activities will take place at Tenneco’s technical center in Edenkoben, Germany, and Eaton’s technical center in Marshall, Michigan. The integrated exhaust thermal management system is anticipated to be ready for start of production in 2025 to support regulatory timing.
Across the globe, emission standards are tightening for vehicle manufacturers. In Europe, the next stage of emissions standards, known as Euro VII (for heavy-duty vehicles) and Euro 7 (for light-duty), and are targeted for introduction in 2025. The California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have similar actions planned for 2027 and 2024, respectively. Collectively, these new regulations will reduce tailpipe NOx limits by 90%, thus accelerating the need for global engine manufactures to employ additional emission reduction strategies, Eaton officials said.
“It became clear about three years ago that future CARB and EPA NOx regulations would be drastically stricter than they are today, and the exhaust thermal management system is an effective technology to actively heat up an aftertreatment system for commercial vehicle diesel engines to dramatically reduce cold-start NOx emissions,” said Justin Hopkins, technology development manager of Eaton’s Vehicle Group.