Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Bradford Bruno




Aerogels, Diesel Particulates, Diesel Particulate Filter, Diesel Particulate Generator, Aerogel Filters


The goal of this project is to design a diesel particulate generator to test aerogels as diesel particulate filters. Diesel particulate generators are machines that generate diesel particulate matter, or diesel soot. Diesel particulate filters have been recently put into the market to help many car companies meet the ever-changing diesel emission regulations set by the EPA and other international agencies. The main goal of the filter is to block soot from exiting to the environment. Once the filter is full, the soot is oxidized and released. The problem with these filters is that they are large, costly, detrimental to fuel efficiency, and can sometimes melt at high temperatures. Aerogels are a potential solution to this problem as they can hold just as much if not more soot as current filter designs, while having a smaller surface area and being able to withstand high temperatures. These advantageous characteristics would likely combine to allow for filter designs that are less detrimental to fuel efficiency. Past research by Union College Alumnus, Jacob Cetnar, has proven that aerogels can trap diesel particulate matter and that further research needs to be conducted. While there are commercial ways to test diesel particulate filters, they are all built for full scale industrial testing, something that is not desired by the Union College Aerogel lab. Therefore, some sort of method for loading aerogel samples with soot in a Union College laboratory setting needs to be developed. The system described in the following report, consists of an air gun blowing 3 cfm of air and diesel soot simulant through 26 inches of 316L Stainless Steel tubing with a diameter of 1”, into a test cell, a 1” diameter, 3.52-inch-long tube, that will house the aerogel. The powder is introduced through a funnel and auger system that is powered by a 3V DC motor. All tubing is part of a quick clamp system where quick clamps are used to connect the flanges of the tubes together.