New Bosch soot filter functions with or without fuel additives

Boxberg. There couldn't be a better camouflage: four Peugeot 607 sedans are currently driving up to 1,000km a day in the Stuttgart area to test diesel particulate filters. But the cars are not fitted with the PSA group's own FAP filter system, which was introduced two years ago and is now used in 500,000 cars. Instead, they are equipped with a newly developed rival system. The German supplier Bosch uses the French brand's models for durability tests of its own particulate filters.

"We are considering a high volume production of the diesel soot filter from 2005," said Bernd Bohr, member of the board of directors at Bosch. The aim is to manufacture more than 500,000 units, which will be fitted as original equipment. "The final decision will be made after the summer break," said Ulrich Dohle, chairman of the board of Bosch's diesel systems sector. He is positive "that the profitability calculation will support the start-up of production."

At the end of 2002 Bosch bought the rights for further development, production and distribution of particulate filters made of sintered metal from the catalytic converter manufacturer HJS in Menden. Contrary to PSA's honeycomb-shaped ceramics filters (Heinrich Gillet GmbH in Edenkoben supplies the cleaning fluids and the filters are manufactured by Ibiden, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain), the design of sintered metal filters has a higher capacity for soot residues due to its octagonal shape. The low exhaust counter-pressure results in a better performance and less consumption.

The new Bosch system works with or without fuel additives and is said to be maintenance-free for 200,000km. Peugeot drivers currently have to drive to the garage once every 120,000km for an additive refill. PSA announced last month that it will introduce filters that work without fuel additives and are also octagonal by early 2004.

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