BASF recently introduced some great new technology at the 2014 North American International Auto Show here in Detroit. It is the industry’s first coating-based solution that adsorbs harmful hydrocarbons inside a vehicle’s air intake box, which helps to eliminate evaporative emissions. The technology was created in response to the Air Resources Board of California’s new LEV III emissions regulations, which go into effect in 2015. These regulations require automakers to further reduce evaporative emissions. The Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) standard under these regulations specifies near-zero evaporative emissions, which is a significant challenge for OEMs.

After an engine is shut off, some hydrocarbon bleeds out of the combustion chamber, which gets measured as evaporative emissions. BASF’s EvapTrap™ is a polymer-based coating infused with activated carbon and proprietary zeolite. This patented technology is applied directly onto the surface of a vehicle’s air-intake housing to adsorb engine hydrocarbons. The new coating traps hydrocarbons, so that the next time the engine is turned on, those hydrocarbons can release back into the combustion chamber. This system allows OEMs to reduce evaporative emissions by 99.9%.

The EvapTrap has been successfully tested and proven to offer adhesion durability to all air intake box materials, including polypropylene – another plus for OEMs.

Traditional solutions involve adding an activated carbon honeycomb or filter to the air intake box to adsorb the hydrocarbons. However, these increase the backpressure, and reduce horsepower and fuel economy. EvapTrap does not add any backpressure, thus leaving engine performance unchanged.

According to Chris Arendoski, Head of Marketing, BASF Catalysts, “With EvapTrap, we’re offering automakers a chemistry-based solution that eliminates evaporative emissions with no change in engine pressure. Plus, because it’s a coating, it’s tamper proof and is a fully customizable application.”

 BASF has created a short video that explains how the technology works, which can be viewed in this issue’s digital edition, right on this page. Be sure to check it out!