Systems Approach to Exhaust Management

“You’ve got to take a full systems view. You can’t think of powertrain as an isolated set of tradeoffs. If you don’t consider the powertrain and the fuel and emission controls holistically, you will sub-optimize.” That’s Ben Patel, vice president, global research and development, Tenneco Clean Air ( He adds, “Everything we design is with a systems engineering view.” It is all about the integration. About how one aspect connects with another.

And with emissions standards such as Tier 3 and Euro6c, this holistic approach to dealing with what is being produced by the powertrain and how it is being handled is absolutely critical.

For example, for diesel applications they’ve developed mixing solutions for selective catalytic reduction (SCR)-coated diesel particulate filter (SDPF) applications (where the SCR catalyst and particulate filtration is combined into one component, thereby reducing weight and minimizing packaging requirements).

And they’ve taken their learnings from handling diesel exhaust particulates and have developed gasoline particulate filters (GPFs), which Patel says are suited for application on gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines. The GPFs can be deployed with the series three-way catalyst or the catalyst coating can be applied to the GDF substrate to form a four-way catalyst.

According to Patel, the systems-level orientation not only allows Tenneco to develop solutions that meet its customers’ needs—as regards meeting regulations and such things as cost and size requirements—but its customers’ customers, meaning the people who buy the cars and trucks.—GSV