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The waste heat generated by combustion engines is a precious commodity. Used in the right way, it can help to reduce tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption by a considerable margin. This article takes a brief look at ElroTherm D and energy harvesting, two innovation projects initiated by ElringKlinger’s Shielding Technology division.

Nice and cozy

Combustion engines are becoming increasingly efficient – a boon to motorists and the environment, but a challenge for automotive suppliers. The catalytic converter, for instance, which is responsible for neutralizing pollutants contained in the exhaust gases, can only work efficiently once it has reached the required operating temperature – and the latter exceeds 200 degrees Celsius. After a cold start, therefore, the objective is to direct the exhaust gas to the catalytic converter without losing an excessive amount of heat. This task is performed particularly well by a new generation of shielding materials launched onto the market by ElringKlinger under the name of ElroTherm D. The shielding material, comprising one layer each of stainless steel and silicate fibers, is fitted to all heat- carrying components – from the exhaust manifold via the turbocharger to the catalytic converter itself. Superior insulation offers other advantages, too. First, consumption is scaled back, as less fuel has to be injected after a cold start. Secondly, ElroTherm D also dampens noise generated in the exhaust system.