BASF, Honda researchers receive R&D award for joint development of innovative motorcycle emissions catalyst

  • Edison Award honors first base metal catalyst designed to meet regional motorcycle emissions requirements
  • Tailored solution to cost-effectively address regulatory environment in emerging Asian markets
  • BASF and Honda cooperating on additional emissions catalyst research 


ISELIN, NJ, November 13, 2015 – The Research and Development Council of New Jersey has awarded a team of BASF and Honda inventors with the prestigious 2015 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for outstanding environmental contributions.  The award, honoring the first base metal catalyst created to meet regional motorcycle emissions requirements, was presented at a ceremony held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, on November 12.

The winning team included BASF inventors Pascaline Tran, Xinsheng Liu, Ye Liu, Mike P. Galligan, and Qinglin Zhang (posthumously) as well as Honda inventors Hiroyuki Horimura and Akiko Iwasa.

Current motorcycle catalysts use platinum group metals (PGMs) such as platinum and palladium as active catalytic ingredients, allowing manufacturers to meet new and emerging regional emissions regulations.

If base metal can be used as an active catalytic ingredient, its relative supply stability and price advantage could provide a significant benefit to motorcycle manufacturers.

The Edison Award-winning catalyst met this challenge and has emerged as the first base metal catalyst that can address motorcycle emissions regulations in India, one of the world’s largest motorcycle markets.

“We are proud to be recognized for developing this base metal emissions catalyst, called EMPRO™ MCY.ZP, which delivers a tailored solution to meet the needs of our customer Honda,” said BASF Research Scientist Pascaline Tran. “This technology was developed in close cooperation with our counterparts at Honda and builds on BASF’s deep expertise in base metal catalysis to deliver a practical solution for environmentally friendly motorcycles.”

“Development of this innovative emissions catalyst will support the widespread use of environmentally friendly motorcycles in emerging countries, which are the main markets for two-wheel transport. It will also support improved air quality and help address resource issues associated with precious metals, which is a global challenge,” added Shinya Wakabayashi, Honda Motorcycle R&D Center General Manager.

While the need for PGMs will continue across the broad range of catalytic emissions control applications, base metal technology can be leveraged as part of the overall solution. BASF and Honda are cooperating on additional research projects to address increasingly stringent motorcycle emissions standards and plan to publish a research paper on the merits of base metal catalyst technology in 2016.


About BASF’s Catalysts Division  

 BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. By leveraging our industry-leading R&D platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of precious and base metals, BASF’s Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary solutions that drive customer success. Further information on BASF’s Catalysts division is available on the Internet at www.catalysts.basf.comAbout BASF  At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and around 113,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.


About Honda 

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. supplies our customers with high-quality and superior environmental-performance products in a wide range of fields, especially two-wheeled, four-wheeled and power products, so that we may remain a trusted member of our society with the aspirations to provide the joy and freedom of mobility while also helping to create a sustainable society where people can enjoy life. In the field of two-wheeled vehicles, Honda holds a share of 1/3 of the world market and we are the largest manufacturer in the world with an annual production volume of 17 million vehicles. At Honda, we were quick to recognize our responsibility as a manufacturer with influence on our mobile society, and we worked to improve the environmental performance of our two-wheeled vehicles, such as outfitting them with electronic fuel injection systems and three-way catalysts. This two-wheeler market is massive in developing countries, and we realize the scale of its impact on the environment. Therefore, we are continuing to devote our efforts to the development and spread of exhaust emission control systems for small displacement two-wheelers so that more of our customers can use high-performance environmental systems.

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