Could ignition system tech save commercial combustion engines?

Nanosecond electrical pulses that generate plasma could reduce diesel emissions by 50%, writes Elle Farrell-Kingsley

In response to incoming legislation and the shift toward electric vehicles (EV) globally, the automotive industry is searching for ways to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly ecosystem, with many setting ‘Vision Zero’ targets. The global commercial vehicles market was valued at US$719bn in 2020 and is estimated to register a CAGR of over 5.32% between 2021 and 2026, according to data research firm Mordor Intelligence. The global electric commercial vehicle market made up US$67.51bn of the total in 2021 alone, and it is expected to reach US$258.78bn by 2027, reflecting the increasing demand for commercial EVs.

However, "There's no skipping ahead to the era of ubiquitous EVs, so internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will need to become cleaner and more efficient—very quickly," says Dan Singleton, Transient Plasma Systems (TPS) Founder and Chief Executive. TPS is a technology development firm founded to drive the commercial adoption and application of plasma technology, which can create economic value and reduce environmental impact.

Stringent regulations are coming into play for diesel emissions, and truck OEMs are looking for solutions. In Europe, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) set a deadline in November 2021, calling for HGVs to produce zero-emissions by 2040. In the US, legislation for reducing NOx emissions, such as the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus regulations,  are certain to impact the commercial vehicle market. As such, ACT Research has forecasted that  50% of the global market will consist of zero-emission powertrains by 2040. The other half will be diesel.

"The global market is calling for stricter emissions standards that OEMs cannot ignore," he continues. "While the promise of EVs is a real long-term solution, the auto industry stands to gain from a sharper focus in the short-term. Adopting available innovations can help achieve immediate efficiency and emissions goals today that will enable the electric future."

With diesel engines, we've found that the technology offers >80% reduction of NOx emissions and >85% reduction in diesel particulate emissions

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