LIFE AUTO Project
Demonstration and validation of an innovative on-board automatic fuel additives storage and dosing system for diesel vehicles
Through the LIFE AUTO project, Solvay and SOGEFI aim to combine different concepts (fuel additives, hardware and software) into prototypes and demonstrators, to provide to the automotive industry, an innovative solution to reduce the environmental impact of diesel engines and to meet the EU’s 2020 target of 95 gCO2/km.
Transportation currently accounts for 23% of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions. The developing world keeps buying more vehicles, use more biofuels, some of which have side effects on the fuel injection system, e.g. deposit or even fouling / coking of key parts, reducing engine performance (increased pollution and fuel consumption), reliability, and durability.
The implementation of more stringent European diesel exhaust emission standards (e.g. Euro 5 and EURO 6) forces the automotive industry to use the Diesel Particle Filter (DPF) technology that is common in passenger cars in Europe. One of the main technologies uses an “on board” fuel additive, called Fuel Borne Catalyst (FBC), to trigger DPF regeneration. To match environmental and economic targets, a new automatic storage and dosing system for fuel additives is required. On-board integration, cost, flexibility, and communality are the key design parameters. Solvay and SOGEFI already developed a Proof of Concept. The aim of LIFE AUTO project is to combine the different concepts (fuel additives, hardware and software) into prototypes and demonstrators, and finally for the automotive industry to accept it.
Environmental objective: Provide an innovative solution to meet the European Union's 2020 target of 95 gCO2/km
- Enable use of biodiesel and renewable fuels (up to 10% by 2020 in Europe, up to 30% in vehicle fleet operators, and up to 100% for some Heavy-Duty niche markets): CO2 emission reduced by up to 12 g/km
- Save fuel in urban driving conditions through use of fuel additive technology in combination with catalyzed-Diesel particulate filter: CO2 emission reduced by 5 g/km
- Increase fuel economy, enabling high efficiency deNOx technology: CO2 emission reduced by up to 5 g/km
- Help the industrial and off-road automotive industry retain diesel engines
Main innovative aspect: Combination of various concepts to reduce the environmental impact of diesel engines
- Hardware that can replace the diesel fuel filter, the additive tank and the dosing pump, with no or limited connection to the ECU of the vehicle
- Fuel additives that are designed to continuously clean the emission treatment systems, as well as high pressure fuel injection systems
- Software that ensures intelligent additive injection
Discover E-SIS® !
Check out this video showcasing our latest innovation! Developped in partnership between Solvay and Sogefi: E-SIS®, the simple solution to meet the strengthen emission regulations over the world.
LIFE AUTO project is coordinated by RHODIA OPERATIONS S.A.S., subsidiary of Solvay group, in partnership with FILTRAUTO S.A., member of SOGEFI GROUP.
The project, registered as LIFE12 ENV/FR/000480, started on July 1st, 2013 to end in June 2016.
SOGEFI GROUP, founded in Italy in 1980, is a global leader in automotive original equipment and aftermarket components. The company is in partnership with the world´s major car and commercial vehicle manufacturers and is a market leader in Europe and South America.
Within the SOGEFI GROUP, the Suspension Components Business Unit is the third largest suspension components provider worldwide. The Engine Systems Business Unit is one of the leading manufacturers of fluid filtration modules and air intake and engine cooling systems.
SOGEFI Aftermarket Business Unit is one of Europe’s leading vehicle filter suppliers for OES and IAM. The aftermarket brands Purflux, Fram®, CoopersFiaam and Tecnocar (in Italy) offer a complete portfolio of OE-quality automotive oil, air, fuel and cabin air filters for all major American, European and Asian car makes. SOGEFI Pro is the aftermarket filter brand for commercial vehicle applications.
The SOGEFI GROUP is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Group’s 2012 turnover was €1,335 million. The company has a global presence and employs around 6,800 people worldwide at 43 production sites and 17 commercial offices in 21 countries.
Sites involved in the LIFE AUTO Project
LIFE AUTO Project is carried out on four different sites in France: La Rochelle and Aubervilliers sites for Solvay, and Guyancourt and Vire sites concerning SOGEFI.
LIFE AUTO will demonstrate the feasibility of a unique environment-friendly system, replacing the current diesel fuel filter, the additive tank and the dosing pump, with no or limited connection to the ECU of the vehicle. It will improve fuel efficiency and compatibility with biofuels, and reduce emissions of diesel engines. The project targets passenger cars and light-duty vehicles below 3.5 t, and Industrial and Off-Road Applications with similar size engines. Part of the innovation is the development of new fuel additives to overcome (bio)fuel issues such as fouling of key elements of the engine and reduced performance.
The system will increase the efficiency and durability of the most advanced exhaust after treatment technologies (DPF, SCR), and help the automotive industry enter new market areas by adding flexibility into the vehicle:
- DPF regeneration reliability, especially in cold operation (city driving, delivery services)
- Reduced fuel consumption
- Reduced oil dilution and engine wear, increasing due to biodiesel
- Reduced CO2 emissions by limiting in particular the fuel demand for DPF regeneration, adding more flexibility in the exhaust emissions technologies layout (SCR+DPF) allowing high combustion efficiency and facilitating a large blending of biofuels
- Reduce emissions and pollutants to keep the fuel injection system and components clean
The unit developed in LIFE AUTO project consists in a simplified storage and dosing system integrated in a Diesel fuel filter to dispense a fuel additive into the fuel stream for Diesel vehicles. This compact on-board dosing system will deliver fuel additive for diesel emissions controls and fuel quality improvements.
The system, integrated within the fuel filter is composed of:
- an additive dosing unit, that ensure additive delivery to the fuel tank
- a fuel filter module, that ensure the function of a conventional fuel filter
- an additive cartridge, to store the fluid over the targeted system lifetime
Fuel Improver Additive
Additive formulation developed in LIFE AUTO project will ensure an improved operating engine. Modern diesel engine technologies, that support lower fuel consumption (lower CO2emissions) and less pollutants emissions, are also more and more sensitive. Particularly, injectors can be strongly damaged by fuel deposit, especially in case of fuels containing biofuel. In these conditions, interest for additive package dedicated to solve these issues and specifically developed for on-board dosing system is constantly growing.
The system will allow the automotive industry to meet the EU's targets of CO2 emissions for 2020 (95 gCO2/km) at lower cost, inducing a faster market uptake. Compared to existing systems, this system will:
- Reduce car weight by 3.4 kg: reduction of 0.3 gCO2/ km on a MVEG cycle.
- Reduce by 3 to 5 % fuel consumption for DPF regeneration: reduction of 4 to 5 gCO2/km.
- Increase 3 to 5 % in fuel efficiency, enabling high efficiency deNOx technology: reduction of 4 to 5 gCO2/km.
Based on the potential of 10 gCO2/km emissions reduction per car, around 1.36 Mt CO2 could be saved in Europe for an annual diesel car production of 8M and an estimated European annual mileage of 17,000 km.
Impact on climate change
During the LIFE AUTO project, an innovative system (combining chemistry, hardware and software) will be implemented; this system will substantially increase the global energy efficiency of clean diesel vehicles. This process will lead to a substantial reduction of GHG emissions and will keep the clean diesel vehicle attractiveness versus alternative powertrain technologies, such as gasoline, hybrid and electrical vehicles. As explained before, the system will also increase energy efficiency. Hence, the LIFE AUTO project meets EU objectives according to low carbon technology and greenhouse gas concentration reduction and focus on a widely applicable system in Europe.
- SOGEFI GROUP - co-develops the LIFE AUTO project in partnership with Solvay. SOGEFI GROUP is a global leader in automotive original equipment and aftermarket components
- LIFE programme - The LIFE programme is the European Union’s financial instrument for the environment, aiming to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of environmental policy by co-financing projects with European added value
- AECC - Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst - is an international non-profit scientific association of European companies making technologies for engine exhaust emissions control
- ACEA - European Automobile Manufacturer's Association - represents Europe's car, van, truck and bus manufacturers, and works with a variety of institutional, non-governmental, research and civil society partners - as well as with a number of industry associations to ensure the economic environmental and social sustainability of the automobile industry
- Concawe - The oil companies' European association for environment, health and safety in refining and distribution, was established in 1963 to carry out research on environmental issues relevant to the oil industry
- Diesel Net - Online information service on clean diesel engines and diesel emissions
- “Beneficial Use of Advanced Fuel Borne Catalyst in Diesel Engines”, A. Lacarriere et al., 10th International Colloquium Fuels, TAE Esslingen (Germany), January 2015
- "Cleaner diesel, cleaner world", International Innovation: A renewable future, issue 178, page 74-76, April 2015
- “A low ash and highly stable Fuel Borne Catalyst with injection system deposit prevention properties”, A. Lacarriere et al, SAE World Congress (Detroit/MI, USA), April 2015, SAE 2015-01-0896
“Beneficial Use of Advanced Fuel Borne Catalyst in Diesel Engines”, A. Lacarriere et al., 10th International Colloquium Fuels, TAE Esslingen (Germany), January 2015
"Cleaner diesel, cleaner world", International Innovation: A renewable future, issue 178, page 74-76, April 2015
“A low ash and highly stable Fuel Borne Catalyst with injection system deposit prevention properties”, A. Lacarriere et al, SAE World Congress (Detroit/MI, USA), April 2015, SAE 2015-01-0896
"The Fuel-Borne Catalyst Approach: A Cost-Effective and Robust Solution to Address the Requirements of BS-VI for Diesel Vehicles", A. Lacarriere et al. Symposium on International Automotive Technology (Pune, India), January 2017, Ref. 2017-26-0127
Based on an emission reduction potential per vehicle of 10g CO2/km, 1.36 million tons of CO2 can be saved in Europe for an annual production of 8 million diesel-powered vehicles (with an estimated annual mileage of around 17,000 km).
The E-SIS® system was successfully developed for two on-board fuel additives (Eolys PowerFlex® and EasyFlex®);
It is perfectly adapted to the application of new vehicles, especially if its integration is a part of the series development phase;
It has been optimized to obtain a better reliability and precision in its dosing function: this property is essential to ensure a good autonomy of the system in the vehicles;
E-SIS® can also be used on existing diesel vehicles ("Retrofit").
LIFE AUTO project has also led to the development of EasyFlex®. Its complementarity with Eolys PowerFlex®, allows covering all diesel vehicules, placed in service since 1998.
Within the scope of retrofit applications, for example, a first preconditioning phase in the “high dosage” version will allow the engine to recover its initial performance, then to continue in “low dosage”, in order to maintain that recovered performance.
The type of additive could also be switched during maintenance and service in order to increase the robustness of the performance, given the particular use of a vehicle.