Summary and review of the FIL-BIO-DIESEL Project.•
Performance of automotive particulate filters made of biomorphic silicon carbide.•
Physical and microstructural characterization of bioSiC filters at material level.•
Design and manufacture of an MDF-bioSiC wall-flow DPF prototype.•
Assessment of the prototype performance at system level: efficiency & pressure drop.
With a high number of diesel vehicles worldwide, particulate emission control is an urgent issue with a global impact, from the health of citizens to commercial future of this technology in some transport segments. Particulate filters are widely used in automotive engines to comply emissions regulations, but current technologies have room for improvement as they add additional backpressure in the exhaust system, and efficient on-board regeneration process is challenging.
The Fil-Bio-Diesel Project is a R&D initiative to improve current particle filtration systems, based on the development of novel biomorphic substrates. By replicating the biologic tissue of a wood precursor, a biomorphic silicon carbide with hierarchic orthotropic microstructure can be produced. The porosity, the pore size, and pore orientation of this bioceramic material can be tailored through the selection of a suitable precursor, widening the initially narrow relationship between filtration efficiency and pressure drop that characterizes granular ceramic materials. In this paper the methodology and main results of the Fil-Bio-Diesel Project are presented. This work shows the peculiar advantages of biomorphic silicon carbide through several experimental studies. The results show the potential of this novel filter substrate to be used in future particulate abatement systems.