Particulate Matter (PM) Emissions – Why Controls Matter

Particulate Matter (PM) is a class of emissions comprised of small solid particles, liquid droplets, and captured gasses. Diesel particulate matter is a mix of soot, metal flakes, oil, aromatic hydrocarbons, and other byproducts of combustion from a diesel engine. There is strong evidence linking PM emissions from vehicles with a wide range of adverse health impacts, including increased asthma emergencies, cancer, heart and lung diseases, and premature death.


The current method of controlling diesel PM is to use a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to capture PM from the engines exhaust before it enters the atmosphere . These filters slowly accumulates PM, increasing backpressure and resulting in lower fuel efficiency and more wear and tear on the engine. When backpressure becomes too high, the filter must be regenerated in order for the engine to continue to operate. Regeneration occurs by raising the exhaust temperature high enough to oxidize the PM. When normal vehicle operation results in exhaust temperatures high enough to oxidize the PM, it is called passive regeneration. When other means are required to raise exhaust temperatures (typically by injecting fuel into the exhaust stream), it is referred to as active regeneration. Active regeneration inflicts a significant fuel penalty and shortens the lifespan of the DPF>


In 2015 ThrivalTech began development of a Plasma enhanced Diesel Particulate remediation system. The technology is intended to become an alternative to diesel fueled active regenerative systems used with over-the-highway vehicles.

Plasma DPF

The ThrivalTech Plasma Diesel Particulate Remediation (PDPR) technology represents a generational leap forward in emissions control technology. The PDPR utilizes the ionizing power of plasma to create reactive oxygen species within the hot exhaust stream of a diesel engines exhaust system. The highly reactive oxygen species is able oxidize diesel particulate matter at temperatures below 170 deg. C which could eliminate the necessity of active DPF regeneration.

How DPOx Improves DPF Technology

DPFs requiring active regeneration incur a 10-20% fuel penalty.

  • DPOx lowers the temperatures needed to oxidize PM accumulated in the DPF , eliminating the need to run the engine at high rpm, or inject additional fuel into the filter in order to regenerate.

Injecting fuel for active regeneration (industry standard) creates “hot spots” and shortens the life of the DPF.

  • Low temp oxidation of PM extends the life of the DPF, lowering the number of filter replacements required over the lifespan of the equipment. DPOx can save equipment owners tens of thousands of dollars in filter replacement costs in the long term.

The need for frequent active regeneration leads to increased downtime and maintenance, less reliability, and higher costs.

  • DPOx can reduce or eliminate the time lost due to enforced active regeneration, and vehicle shut down for maintenance. This improves the reliability and cost effectiveness of equipment operation.

A new Approach to NOx Controls

Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are a class of emissions that are know contributors to respiratory disease, smog, and acid rain. Current control methods include lean NOx Adsorbers, and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), both situated in the exhaust system. NOx Adsorbers are less efficient in high temperature exhaust conditions, and their use is in decline. SCR systems are widespread, and inject an aqueous urea solution into the exhaust to react with precious metal catalysts and reduce NOx to nitrogen, water, and CO2. While relatively effective, SCR system incur an additional cost through the added expense of the urea based reductant, which is equivalent to a 5-7% drop in fuel efficiency.

Syngas Enhance Combustion

ThrivalTech has focused our research on using Plasma-Assisted Syngas Enhanced Combustion (SEC) to reduce NOx production in gaseous fueled engines. In a sequence of tests conducted in 2014 and 2015, our development team has successfully reduced the production of NOx in excess of 95% without the need of any post treatment technology. These results are third party verified and repeatable. Plasma enhanced SEC allows gaseous engines to run under ultra-lean conditions, meeting NOx emissions standards without the need for costly exhaust treatment systems or consumable reductants. Our proprietary technology simply changes the combustion dynamics of the engine to meet regulatory requirements.

Third Party Testing Bench



Our Viper Plasma Technology can be specifically constructed for use with each of the following applications.

Plama Sketch

  • Fuel Reforming (syngas production)
  • Hydrogen production
  • Emissions control
  • Ozone production
  • Water Treatment
  • Odor removal
  • SOFC Fuel processing
  • Toxic gas destruction
  • Fisched Tropsch support
  • Hydrogen Enhanced Combustion


Contact us for more information.