On-line Estimation of Sulfation Levels in a Lean NOx Trap 2002-01-0731
Presented in this paper is an on-line method for estimating the sulfation levels within a lean NOx trap (LNT). Sulfur poisoning plays a major role in the reduction of oxygen and NOx storage capacity in an LNT. Indicators of LNT degradation are LNT NOx absorption efficiency and capacity. The estimation of LNT oxygen and NOx storage capacity is an on-line method of monitoring LNT NOx absorption efficiency and capacity. The estimation provides information regarding the sulfation level of the LNT. This estimate may be used in conjunction with lean burn strategies to initiate an LNT sulfur purging mechanism and maintain maximum fuel economy. In addition, the estimation of LNT oxygen and NOx storage capacity may be used for on-board diagnostics, LNT NOx absorption efficiency estimation, NOx purge fuel estimation, and many other applications. Furthermore, the information must be obtained in such a way that is transparent to the operator and may be implemented on-line during normal drive cycles. This on-line method for estimation of LNT sulfation levels has been demonstrated on a Ford F150 platform.