1993-03-01

Static Characteristics of ZrO2 Exhaust Gas Oxygen Sensors 930352

Results of laboratory studies of the static characteristics of several different commercially available heated exhaust gas oxygen sensors are described. In these studies, the emf of the sensors was measured as a function of temperature and of the composition of calibrated gas mixtures. Several different binary gas mixtures (H2/N2, CO/N2, C3H6/N2, C3H8/N2, and CH4/N2) were used together with a variable amount of O2. In addition to laboratory studies, the same sensors were also studied in the exhaust gas of an engine. Whereas at high temperatures thermodynamic equilibrium appears to prevail, clear departures from thermodynamic equilibrium are observed at some lower temperatures (the value of which depends on the specific sensor and the specific gas mixture used). This behavior is manifested by shifts of the emf step away from stoichiometry, broadening of the step, abnormally high emf values in excess oxygen mixtures, and abnormally low emf values in reducing gas mixtures. Results of studies of the steady state response of these sensors in the exhaust of an engine were found to be consistent with the results of the laboratory studies. The experimental data are discussed within the framework of simple models for the gas transport and gas/solid interaction processes.

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