Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-01-4078
2007-10-29

Total Phosphorus Detection and Mapping in Catalytic Converters 2007-01-4078

The poisoning of three way catalysts (TWC) by the phosphorus contained in oil formulations containing zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) is examined. Catalysts were exposed to various types of ZDDP and detergents under conditions that were known to reduce performance through phosphorus poisoning without the blocking of sites by formation of glazing. The presence of phosphorus was detected with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX). In addition to analyzing the surface concentration of the phosphorus on the washcoat, the catalyst was cross cut so phosphorus that diffused into the washcoat could be mapped. The total phosphorus in the catalyst could then be calculated. The amount of total phosphorus detected correlated well with the reduced activity of the catalyst as measured by the temperature of 50% conversion. This examination has shown that both the selection of the ZDDP type and detergent can reduce the amount of phosphorus that is absorbed on the surface of the catalyst as well as into the washcoat of the catalyst and therefore reduce its poisoning effects.

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