Feasibility of Plasma Aftertreatment for Simultaneous Control of NOx and Particulates 1999-01-3637
Plasma reactors can be operated as a particulate trap or as a NOx converter. Particulate trapping in a plasma reactor can be accomplished by electrostatic precipitation. The soluble organic fraction of the trapped particulates can be utilized for the hydrocarbon-enhanced oxidation of NO to NO2. The NO2 can then be used to non-thermally oxidize the carbon fraction of the particulates. The oxidation of the carbon fraction by NO2 can lead to reduction of NOx or backconversion of NO2 to NO. This paper examines the hydrocarbon and electrical energy density requirements in a plasma for maximum NOx conversion in both heavy-duty and light-duty diesel engine exhaust. The energy density required for complete oxidation of hydrocarbons is also examined and shown to be much greater than that required for maximum NOx conversion. The reaction of NO2 with carbon is shown to lead mainly to backconversion of NO2 to NO. These results suggest that the combination of the plasma with a catalyst will be required to reduce the NOx and oxidize the hydrocarbons. The plasma reactor can be operated occasionally in the arc mode to thermally oxidize the carbon fraction of the particulates.