Ceramics in exhaust gas purification

Exhaust gases from various technical environments pollute our ambient air and can result in environmental and health damage. With regard to purifying exhaust gases and complying with emission and immission limit values, the available methods differ vastly from each other depending on type and origin of the pollution. In many of these methods of purification, ceramic filters, adsorbents, catalytic converters and catalyst supports enable efficient and cost-efficient results, in particular when it comes to high temperatures, chemical corrosion and longevity.

Ceramic catalyst supports and diesel particulate filters have become indispensable, in particular with regard to the purification of exhaust gases from internal combustion engines, such as gasoline or diesel engines. Every year approx. 20 million ceramic catalyst supports and particulate filters are integrated in Western European cars alone. Beyond this, ceramic components play an important role for the purification of exhaust gases from large-scale industrial processes, such as from power plants, waste incineration plants and chemical and thermal process engineering plants. Ceramic filters and catalytic converters are even used in many household applications.

Thanks to its many years of development in this area, Fraunhofer IKTS helps to optimize materials and manufacturing methods and opens up new applications. The institute also provides sophisticated analysis, modeling and simulation technologies, some of them newly developed, to support the optimization of materials, components and processes. The examination of ceramic components following field tests is also part of the portfolio. Furthermore, IKTS has extensive know-how in the development of ceramic gas sensors and complex sensor systems for use in exhaust gas purification.



Treatment of exhaust gases from engines

Engine exhaust gases are one of the main sources of air pollutants. In order to comply with the limit values for the emission of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulates, further developments will be necessary in the future, which will focus on the combination of particle filtration and catalysis, among other things.


Industrial exhaust gas purification

Various methods are available for the purification of hot exhaust gas, depending on the type of emission and application. Ceramics are used in particular for cases where more traditional solutions reach their limits due to the prevailing temperatures or the presence of very corrosive media. Ceramics can also be a cost-efficient alternative to expensive special alloys or other costly materials.


Domestic application

The quality of indoor air plays an important role in human well-being and health. However, dust, bacteria or odours have a decisive impact on it. Ceramic foam filters for dust removal or ceramic-supported photocatalysts for odour filtration can contribute to healthy indoor hygiene and a pleasant indoor climate.



Thanks to the chemical resistance of ceramic materials, even in high temperatures, ceramic-based sensors are particularly suitable for use in tough environments, such as exhaust gas treatment and purification. Fraunhofer IKTS offers sophisticated sensor elements and sensor integration solutions from one single source.


Material and process analytics

As an accredited and audited service provider, Fraunhofer IKTS offers numerous characterization techniques and extensive equipment for the development of ceramic filters, adsorbents, catalytic converters and catalyst supports.



For the development, production and characterization of ceramic filters, adsorbents, catalysts and catalyst carriers, the Fraunhofer IKTS has extensive, in some cases unique technical equipment such as a continuously operating system for foam coating or hot gas filtration test rigs.



For the development of ceramic filters and catalysts, the IKTS has extensive expertise in the areas of substrate selection, catalytic and adsorptive coating and sample production. In addition, IKTS has sound know-how in the field of sensor technology and filter analysis.

Cooperation models

Innovation and development are the cornerstones of a promising corporate future. In order to create a competitive edge, Fraunhofer offers tailored options for cooperation, so that small and medium-sized companies can work together in the best possible way. This also allows to utilize development skills at short notice and as needed.