High dust pollution and the associated risks to health are well-known by those living in cities. Even though some politicians have since spoken out against driving bans in the city, based on recent legal rulings such restrictions remain a possibility. Ludwigsburg, Germany-based filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL has recognized the importance of this subject and in the course of its R&D activities in this area has begun field tests with a test vehicle.
The filtration experts from MANN+HUMMEL have equipped test vehicle with three applications designed to help reduce fine dust pollution. A filter installed on the roof separates particulate matter from the ambient air. Inside the vehicle, occupants are protected by an innovative cabin air filter. Undercar a newly developed brake dust particle filter prevents particles from entering the environment. The catchy design of the car as a fine dust eater makes the car hard to overlook on its test drives throughout the region of Stuttgart.
The fine dust particle filter installed on the roof of the car separates particulate matter from the ambient air. Through its low-flow resistance, the fitted filter element enables an excellent air throughput and a simultaneously high separation efficiency. Computer simulations have shown that the particulate emissions resulting from fuel combustion could be fully offset by using a fine dust particle filter. MANN+HUMMEL will monitor the results from the simulation in a field test and will investigate the separation of particulates from the air under real driving conditions.
The company has already developed solutions to protect vehicle occupants. The test vehicle also is fitted with a newly developed cabin filter. The activated carbon mix used in the filter enables a very high separation efficiency for toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other harmful gases. The innovative coating of the filter reliably binds high volumes of ammonia while ultra-fine nanofibers in the inside of the filter provide excellent protection against particulates and pollen.
Next, MANN+HUMMEL will equip the vehicle with a newly developed brake dust particle filter. The robust housing of the filter fits closely to the brake caliper, enabling the filter to capture brake dust particles at the source before they escape into the environment. This is particularly important as the amount of fine dust caused by braking in city traffic is probably more than that caused by exhaust emissions, according to the company’s research.
While today’s modern brake pads – from a chemical standpoint – are much more environmentally friendly than in the past, more than 90 percent of brake dust also consists of fine particles that can still have a negative effect on human health. The new brake dust particle filter can be applied on all types of vehicle disc braking systems for automotive or non-automotive applications, whether for electric vehicles, hybrids or conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles.
According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), every year roughly 47,000 people in Germany die from the effects of particulates. The city of Stuttgart is known in the region for its fine dust alarm. While in 2016 the fine dust alarm was proclaimed for 59 days, in 2017 the fine dust alarm in the state capital had already been proclaimed for 48 days between January to April.
MANN+HUMMEL started working on this innovative project to reduce particulate levels as early as 2007 and in the project cooperates with external partners. The aim of the joint venture with other companies and start-ups is to be able to react quickly and with agility in an open and dynamic working environment in order together to develop solutions to complex problems. In the case of the particulate filter MANN+HUMMEL has been working with Albert Kamm, managing director of TEAM KAMM GmbH, which is located in Aichwald in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The services provided by the TEAM KAMM GmbH company include expert services in the area of vehicle engineering and service.