Months after President Nixon proclaimed 1970 as the year of the environment, Congress passed the Clean Air Act – setting national air quality and vehicle emission standards – and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement those standards. The 1970 Act required a 90% reduction in emissions from new cars by 1975.
The pressure was on to create a new technology to meet the clean-air requirements. Corning answered the challenge in 1971 with the first extruded ceramic substrate based on a material called cordierite. Virtually every automotive company in the world today relies on the basis of Corning cellular ceramic technology to control exhaust emissions.
In 1978, Corning developed a cellular ceramic particulate filter to remove soot from diesel emissions. Both innovations, substrates and filters, are manufactured by the company's patented extrusion process in facilities around the world.