Air pollution has become a major issue in China and poses a threat to Chinese public health. Expancel Microspheres are used by customers who want to do something about the situation.

Currently, PM2.5 pollution, which is a particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers, causes thousands of people to face the danger of asthma, bronchitis, and acute and chronic respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and painful breathing.

In an attempt to reduce air pollution, the Chinese government has made the decision to enforce stricter regulations. One of them is that diesel engines should be equipped with diesel particulate filter (DPF) to remove diesel particulate matter or soot from the exhaust gas. These filters are usually made of ceramic foam.

There are three main methods to produce porous ceramics: replica, direct foaming and sacrificial template. Together with Luleå University in Sweden we have studied the advantages of using Expancel Microspheres in ceramics and found that they are big when the sacrificial template method is used. One of the advantages is that lower gas volumes are generated in the burning out process. Another is that you get a more efficient production without material damage and you also receive a uniform pore size distribution. We are now also seeing this put to practice at our customers.

The sphere forms used for this application are dry or wet expanded. These are available in a number of particle sizes, which our customers can use to create foams with different cell sizes.

The DPF industry in China is still in its initial stage. It is reported that in the first half of 2016, the automotive sale in China was about 15 million, of which 10 percent are diesel vehicles. By 2022, this percentage is expected to increase to 20 percent.

We will continue to support this segment and help reduce air pollution in China.

December 11, 2016

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