What's an OPF
How do we define an OPF
An OPF is an On-Board Particulate Filter emissions device used to filter particulate matter from the exhaust gasses of a petrol engine.
In simpler terms, it’s part of the exhaust system that helps to keep the surrounding air cleaner by filtering out all those microscopic bits of soot and carbon that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere during normal driving.
An OPF consists of several components, the filter itself being one of them, which has to be replaced regularly depending on your driving habits and the filter’s service life.
OPF or petrol particulate filters
An OPF is a clever little device that prevents your car from releasing particulate matter into the air during engine combustion.
To comply with European Union (EU) standards, petrol engines are required to limit particulate matter emissions to less than 15 mg/km.
Unfortunately, without proper filtering technology, cars often fail to meet these regulations.
Over 90% of new cars sold in Europe today come equipped with some form of OPF; however, older models continue to emit dangerous levels of particles due to their lack of compliance - prompting some countries to require certain vehicles to be retrofitted in order for them to be roadworthy again.
How does an OPF work
An OPF is a device that removes solid particles (for example, soot) thereby reducing particulate matter escaping into the environment.
Particulate filters usually sit downstream of the catalytic converters, typically located inside a section of the exhaust that can appear to be an extra silencer. Inside you’ll find a ceramic honeycomb structure, in the same way as with a DPF (diesel particulate filter).
They are not particularly effective at reducing overall pollution from cars; only particulate matter (dust, dirt and soot). and might cause higher fuel consumption.
Does an OPF require regular maintenance
When compared to diesel particulate filters they do offer some advantages to the vehicle owner. DPF's have a reputation for getting blocked over time, especially on vehicles that mostly do shorter, lower-speed journeys.
With OPFs, it isn’t as much of an issue. Higher petrol engine and exhaust temperatures make them more effective at burning deposits off, plus petrol engines tend to emit lower volumes of particulates.
On a negative point, research shows that petrol engines can be just as bad as diesel units when it comes to nanoparticles, which are 100 times small than the diesel particulates (10 microns across). As they’re so much smaller, it’s thought they can go deeper into your lungs, which of course isn't good.