VW turns to diesel technology to clean up gasoline engines

Volkswagen announced on Friday that it would begin installing diesel-developed technology on gas-engined vehicles to control particulate output. The carmaker will begin installing the filters in mid-2017.

In a surprising move, Volkswagen is drawing on its diesel technology to fix a problem with its gasoline engines. According to a report published Friday, the German automaker plans to install the particle filters used in its diesel vehicles to assist in cleaning up its gasoline-powered engines. VW will begin to fit the filters on its direct-injection gasoline engines in mid-2017.

Aimed at helping to cut tailpipe emissions, the addition of the particle filter helps to overcome a problem inherent with direct-injection technology. VW made the switch from port- to direction-injection because it is more fuel efficient. Though fuel-efficiency is the upside, the downside is that in direct-injection engines there is less time for gas and air to mix in the cylinders. In turn, the incomplete mixing boosts the output of toxic particulates.

European air standards are cracking down on the level of particulate matter that vehicle engines can emit beginning in September 2017. At that time, all new gasoline-powered vehicles in the European Union must cut particulate matter levels so that vehicles will emit one-tenth of the amount allowed now.

Matthias Mueller, chief executive of the automaker, said recently told shareholders that VW’s TSI and TSFI powerplants will be equipped with the particulate filters. Starting next June, the 1.4-liter TSI powerplant to be used in the new VW Tiguan compact crossover, as well as the 2.0-liter TFSI engine in Audi’s A5. The filters they will have in place are there to cut particulate emissions by up to 90 percent.

Mueller told shareholders, gathered in Hanover, Germany, for the automaker’s annual meeting last week, that the VW Group may equip up to 7 million vehicles with the technology by 2022. In rolling out this technology, VW joins Mercedes-Benz, which has also announced its plan to phase in particulate filters throughout its gas-engine fleet in the future.

Since 2014, reports indicate, Mercedes has equipped its gas-engined S500 with particle filters made by Faurecia. The filters use different substrate materials than their diesel counterparts. And, last April Faurecia announced it would make the technology available to vehicles across the industry.

Source: Automotive News.