Pirelli & C.

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Pirelli eco-technology products

In metropolitan areas, it is becoming increasingly urgent to find effective solutions for the reduction of air pollution, especially particulates – i.e. all those solid and liquid substances that are suspended in the air.

In urban areas, one of the principal sources of particulate are heating plants or combustion in the endothermic engines of vehicles.

Emissions of pollutants, especially particulates, cause respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis, asthma and lung cancer. These pollution caused pathologies have high social and economic costs.

Direct action on these sources represents the most effective and immediate solution for improving urban air quality. Pirelli Eco Technology is focused on providing concrete, sustainable solutions to the problem of reducing particulate emissions.

Pirelli Eco Tecnology offers the following products: GECAM, the white diesel™ for reduced particulate emission and Feelpure™, a particulate filtering system.



Pirelli has been producing and developing Feelpure™ particulate filtering systems since 2004 as mufflers to substitute the original equipment mufflers on diesel engines.

Environmental Performance

  • Reduction of PM10 by more than 90%
  • Average reduction of NO2 by 50%
  • No increase of NOx

The Pirelli filtering system can reduce diesel engine mass particulate emissions of PM10 by over 90% (and the number of nanoparticles < 1 micron, the most hazardous to health, by over 99%) and emissions of NO2 by 50%.

The Feelpure™ system is comprised by three principal components:

  1. a particulate filter in porous silicon carbide (SiC), fitted in a stainless steel can inside the muffler;

Particulate filter

Particulate filter

  1. the CAM FBC™ additive to be added to ordinary fuel, which permits complete combustion of the carbonaceous particulate previously trapped by the filter (regeneration process); the additive is an organic metallic iron-based compound (ferrocene), whose purpose is to activate regeneration of the filter;
  2. an electronic control unit (ECU) that manages the entire system by monitoring backpressure and temperature in the exhaust, regulates the dosing of the additive necessary to activate regeneration of the filter on vehicles with this feature, and manages ignition of the spark plugs if the assisted regeneration system is installed.

The Feelpure™ system operating principle

The particulate filter is made of a honeycomb structure with porous walls that permit the passage of exhaust gases and mechanically block the solid particles.

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Filter working principle

Filter working principle

All the filters operate according to a two-phase cycle

  • Accumulation
  • Regeneration

Accumulation: when PM is deposited in the filter:

  • The temperature of the exhaust gas is not high enough to trigger the process for burning accumulated particulate.
  • Backpressure increases exponentially during this phase.

Regeneration when the PM accumulated in the filter is burned by:

  • the temperature of the exhaust gases (passive regeneration);
  • introduction of external heat (assisted regeneration).

Filter work cycle

Filter work cycle

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Simulation of accumulation of particulate

Simulation of accumulation of particulate

Product range and local availability

With its production facilities in the Milan area and the new plant in Romania, Pirelli Eco Technology aims to become one of the leading producers of particulate filters on the market, both as original equipment (new vehicles) and retrofit systems for vehicles already in use, with solutions that are applicable to all EURO0-EURO5 diesel engines and all transmission configurations. Pirelli Eco Technology is based in Italy and has commercial offices in major European countries.

One of its principal customers in Italy is the GTT consortium, the operator of public transport in Turin and the Region of Piedmont, ATM in Milan, Trambus in Rome, the ARRIVA Group and the SAL-SAB Group.

The production plant for silicon carbide filters is located in Bumbesti-Jiu, Gori County, Romania. Currently staffed by 250 workers, it will have 500 employees when it reaches full operating capacity and produce about 1,100 tonnes annually.

A new production centre is to be built in Shandong Province, China in 2010, and will have the same output as the Romanian plant once it reaches operating capacity (expected to take place in 2012).

In 2009 the procedure began to obtain ISO-TS Quality certification for the plant in Romania, and is expected to be completed at the end of 2010.

The product line has been further extended and the company has begun to expand abroad, in Germany, Spain, Portugal and China.

New products with a higher concentration of cells (cells per square inch - CPSI) are being developed, which will permit better filtering performance and consolidation of the company’s presence on the most interesting markets.

Certifications – Approval and recognition of Feelpure™ system

Pirelli operates in compliance with the most rigorous standards imposed by various countries to limit harmful emissions and has received the most rigorous certifications at the international level.

In Italy, Pirelli Eco Technology was the first to win approval, pursuant to Transport Ministry Decree no. 39 of January 25, 2008, for particulate filters used on light and heavy duty commercial vehicles.

Pirelli filters have also received some of the most important European certifications: they have been tested by the European Joint Research Centre in Ispra, obtained the VERT and BAFU certificates in Switzerland, received RDW approval on the Dutch market and LEC certifications for the Low Emission Zone in London. In Germany, they obtained TUV and DEKRA certification and approval from the KBA (German Transport Ministry) in 2009. They have obtained IMT approval in Portugal. In China, the product has been approved by the Environmental Protection Bureau in Beijing. For the South American market, in CHILE.

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Feelpure™: approvals

IT approved by the Ministry of Transport EURO 0/1/2 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 3 EURO 2/3 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 4/5 − NAD 8001
CH VERT certified − B200/40.07
NL RDW approved EURO 2/3 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 4/5 − 432101 16
UK (London) LEC certified EURO 0 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 3 EURO 1/2/3 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 4/5 − LE 10414
DK certified pursuant to local law EURO 2/3 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 4/5 − nr° 23
DE approved by the German Federal Transport Ministry (KBA) EURO 1/2/3- with the filter it becomes PM EURO 4/5 − ABE 17234'01
CINA approved by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau − QA09XX2Z16881
PT IMTT approved EURO 1/2/3 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 4/5 − 4321101 16
CL 3CV approved EURO 1/2/3 - with the filter it becomes PM EURO 4/5 − 0012/2010

GECAM™, the white diesel


GECAM™ - patented by the Group – is an emulsion of water (10%) and diesel for vehicle use and heating that permits reduction of particulate emissions by 50%. This result was achieved by using the emulsified water, which can reduce PM emissions and the formation of nitrous oxides, one of the principal pollutants typically found in urban areas.

GECAM™ has been tested by various national and international research institutes. In the vehicle fuel segment, Eni Tecnologie Laboratories have found reductions of more than 50% in particulate emissions, 5-6% of nitrous oxides and over 30% of carbon monoxide.

Tests conducted at the European Commission JRC Research Centre in Ispra – performed on an IVECOCursor Euro 3 engine, pursuant to Directive 88/77 EEC-DIR 2001/77EC (ESC stationary cycle) – demonstrate that the GECAM™ emulsified diesel can significantly reduce particulate emissions by heavy duty vehicles.