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Technical Paper

Development of an On-Board Fuel Reforming Catalyst for a Gasoline Engine

On-board hydrogen generation technology using a fuel reforming catalyst is an effective way to improve the fuel efficiency of automotive internal combustion engines. The main issue to be addressed in developing such a catalyst is to suppress catalyst deterioration caused by carbon deposition on the catalyst surface due to sulfur adsorption. Enhancing the hydrocarbon and water activation capabilities of the catalyst is important in improving catalyst durability. It was found that the use of a rare earth element is effective in improving the water activation capability of the catalyst. Controlling the hydrocarbon activation capability of the catalyst for a good balance with water activation was also found to be effective in improving catalyst durability.
Journal Article

Study of an On-board Fuel Reformer and Hydrogen-Added EGR Combustion in a Gasoline Engine

To improve the fuel economy via high EGR, combustion stability is enhanced through the addition of hydrogen, with its high flame-speed in air-fuel mixture. So, in order to realize on-board hydrogen production we developed a fuel reformer which produces hydrogen rich gas. One of the main issues of the reformer engine is the effects of reformate gas components on combustion performance. To clarify the effect of reformate gas contents on combustion stability, chemical kinetic simulations and single-cylinder engine test, in which hydrogen, CO, methane and simulated gas were added to intake air, were executed. And it is confirmed that hydrogen additive rate is dominant on high EGR combustion. The other issue to realize the fuel reformer was the catalyst deterioration. Catalyst reforming and exposure test were carried out to understand the influence of actual exhaust gas on the catalyst performance.
Technical Paper

Fuel Enrichment Control System by Catalyst Temperature Estimation to Enable Frequent Stoichiometric Operation at High Engine Speed/Load Condition

Fuel economy can be improved by reducing engine displacement, thanks to the resulting smaller friction losses and pumping losses. However, smaller engines frequently operate at high-engine speed and high-load, when pressure on the accelerator increases during acceleration and at high speed. To protect exhaust system components from thermal stress, exhaust gas temperature is reduced by fuel enrichment. To improve fuel economy, it is important to increase the frequency of stoichiometric operation at high-engine speed and high-load. Usually, the start timing of fuel enrichment is based upon temperature requirements to protect the catalyst. In the high-engine speed and high-load zone, the threshold temperature of catalyst protection is attained after some time because of the heat mass. Therefore, stoichiometric operation can be maintained until the catalyst temperature reaches the threshold temperature.
Technical Paper

Microfluidic Simulation of Diesel Exhaust Gas and Soot Oxidation in Diesel Particulate Filter

Particulate matter (PM) including soot in diesel exhaust gas is a serious atmospheric pollutant, and stricter exhaust emission standards are being set in many countries. As one of the key technologies, a diesel particulate filter (DPF) for PM trap in the after-treatment of the exhaust gas has been developed. Typically, the inlet size of filter monolith is about 2 mm, and the thickness of the filter wall is only 0.2 mm, where soot particles are removed. It is impossible to observe the small-scale phenomena inside the filter, experimentally. Then, in the present study, we conducted microfluidic simulation with soot oxidation. Here, a real cordierite filter was used in the simulation. The inner structure of the filter was scanned by a 3D X-ray CT Computed Tomography) technique. The advantage is that it is non-intrusive system, and it has a high spatial resolution in the micrometer.
Technical Paper

Low-cost FC Stack Concept with Increased Power Density and Simplified Configuration: Utilizing an Advanced MEA with Integrated Molded Frame

In 2006, Nissan began limited leasing of the X-TRAIL FCV equipped with their in-house developed Fuel Cell (FC) stack. Since then, the FC stack has been improved in durability, cold start-up capability, cost and size with the aim of promoting full-scale commercialization of FCVs. However, reduction of cost and size has remained a significant challenge because limited mass transport through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has made it difficult to increase the rated current density of the FC. Furthermore, it has been difficult to reduce the variety of FC stack components due to the complex stack configuration. In this study, improvements have been achieved mainly by adopting an advanced MEA to overcome these difficulties. First, the adoption of a new MEA and separators has improved mass transport through the MEA for increased rated current density. Second, an integrated molded frame (IMF) has been adopted as the MEA support.
Journal Article

Low-Cost FC Stack Concept with Increased Power Density and Simplified Configuration Utilizing an Advanced MEA

In 2006, Nissan began limited leasing of the X-TRAIL FCV equipped with their in-house developed Fuel Cell (FC) stack. Since then, the FC stack has been improved in cost, size, durability and cold start-up capability with the aim of promoting full-scale commercialization of FCVs. However, reduction of cost and size has remained a significant challenge because limited mass transport through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has made it difficult to increase the rated current density of the FC. Furthermore, it has been difficult to reduce the variety of FC stack components due to the complex stack configuration. In this study, improvements have been achieved mainly by adopting an advanced MEA to overcome these difficulties. First, the adoption of a new MEA and separators has improved mass transport through the MEA for increased rated current density. Second, an integrated molded frame (IMF) has been adopted as the MEA support.
Technical Paper

Impact Study of High Biodiesel Blends on Exhaust Emissions to Advanced Aftertreatment Systems

In Biodiesel Fuel Research Working Group(WG) of Japan Auto-Oil Program(JATOP), some impacts of high biodiesel blends have been investigated from the viewpoints of fuel properties, stability, emissions, exhaust aftertreatment systems, cold driveability, mixing in engine oils, durability/reliability and so on. In the impact on exhaust emissions, the impact of high biodiesel blends into diesel fuel on diesel emissions was evaluated. The wide variety of biodiesel blendstock, which included not only some kinds of fatty acid methyl esters(FAME) but also hydrofined biodiesel(HBD) and Fischer-Tropsch diesel fuel(FTD), were selected to evaluate. The main blend level evaluated was 5, 10 and 20% and the higher blend level over 20% was also evaluated in some tests. The main advanced technologies for exhaust aftertreatment systems were diesel particulate filter(DPF), Urea selective catalytic reduction (Urea-SCR) and the combination of DPF and NOx storage reduction catalyst(NSR).
Technical Paper

A Study of a Gasoline-fueled HCCI Engine∼Mode Changes from SI Combustion to HCCI Combustion∼

Since the stable operating region of a gasoline-fueled HCCI engine is limited to the part load condition, a mode change between SI and HCCI combustion is required, which poses an issue due to the difference in combustion characteristics. This report focuses on the combustion characteristics in the transitional range. The combustion mode in the transitional range is investigated by varying the internal EGR rate, intake air pressure, and spark advance timing in steady-state experiments. In this parametric study, stable SI-CI combustion is observed. This indicates that the combustion mode transition is possible without misfiring or knocking, regardless of the speed of variable valve mechanism which includes VVA, VVEL, VTEC, VVL and so on, though the response of intake air pressure still remains as a subject to be examined in the actual application.
Journal Article

Development of a Diesel Emission Catalyst System for Meeting US SULEV Standards

In recent years, catalyst systems such as a lean NOx trap (LNT) catalyst system and a urea selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system have been developed to obtain cleaner diesel emissions. At Nissan, we developed an emission control system for meeting Tier 2 Bin 5 requirements in 2003. On the basis of that technology, a new HC-NOx trap catalyst system has now been developed that complies with the SULEV standards without increasing the catalyst volume and precious metal loading. Compliance with the SULEV standards requires a further reduction of HC (NMHC) emissions by 84% and NOx by 60% compared with the emission performance Tier 2 Bin 5 compliant catalyst system. Consequently high conversion performance for both HCs and NOx is needed. An investigation of HC emission behavior under the FTP75 mode showed that a reduction of cold-phase HCs was critical for meeting the standard. Large quantities of HCs above C4 are emitted in the cold state.
Technical Paper

Unregulated Emissions Evaluation of Gasoline Combustion Systems (Lean Burn / Stoichiometric DISI and MPI), State of the Art Diesel Aftertreatment Technologies (DPF, urea-SCR and DOC), and Fuel Qualities Effects (EtOH, ETBE, Aromatics and FAME)

In order to clarify future automobile technologies and fuel qualities to improve air quality, second phase of Japan Clean Air Program (JCAPII) had been conducted from 2002 to 2007. Predicting improvement in air quality that might be attained by introducing new emission control technologies and determining fuel qualities required for the technologies is one of the main issues of this program. Unregulated material WG of JCAPII had studied unregulated emissions from gasoline and diesel engines. Eight gaseous hydrocarbons (HC), four Aldehydes and three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were evaluated as unregulated emissions. Specifically, emissions of the following components were measured: 1,3-Butadiene, Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, Ethylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethyl-benzene, n-Hexane, Styrene as gaseous HCs, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, Benzaldehyde as Aldehydes, and Benzo(a)pyrene, Benzo(b)fluoranthene, Benzo(k)fluoranthene as PAHs.
Technical Paper

Summary report of Japan Clean Air Program diesel and diesel fuel activities

Diesel emissions are significant issue worldwide, and emissions requirements have become so tough that. the application of after-treatment systems is now indispensable in many countries To meet even more stringent future emissions requirements, it has become apparent that the improvement of market fuel quality is essential as well as the development in engine and exhaust after-treatment technology. Japan Clean Air Program II (JCAP II) is being conducted to assess the direction of future technologies through the evaluation of current automobile and fuel technologies and consequently to realize near zero emissions and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction. In this program, effects of fuel properties on the performance of diesel engines and a vehicle equipped with two types of diesel NOx emission after-treatment devices, a Urea-SCR system and a NOx storage reduction (NSR) catalyst system, were examined.
Technical Paper

Development of Diesel Engine System with DPF for the European Market

Nissan Motor has put on the European SUV market a 2.2-L direct-injection diesel engine with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) system that complies with the EURO IV emission regulations. This paper describes the DPF system, cooperative control of a variable geometry turbo (VGT) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), and a high-accuracy lambda control adopted for this engine. In order to achieve a compact DPF, the high-accuracy lambda control was developed to reduce variation in engine-out particulate matter (PM) emissions. Moreover, the accuracy of the technique for predicting the quantity of PM accumulation was improved for reliable detection of the DPF regeneration. Prediction error for PM accumulation increases during transient operation. Control logic was adopted to correct the PM prediction according to lambda fluctuation detected by an observer for lambda at cylinder under transient operating conditions. The observer is corrected lambda sensor output.
Technical Paper

Impact of Oil-derived Sulfur and Phosphorus on Diesel NOx Storage Reduction Catalyst - JCAP II Oil WG Report

Emission regulations for diesel-powered vehicles have been gradually tightening. Installation of after-treatment devices such as diesel particulate filters (DPF), NOx storage reduction (NSR) catalysts, and so on is indispensable to satisfy rigorous limits of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Japan Clean Air Program II Oil Working Group (JCAPII Oil WG) has been investigating the effect of engine oil on advanced diesel after-treatment devices. First of all, we researched the impact of oil-derived ash on continuous regeneration-type diesel particulate filter (CR-DPF), and already reported that the less sulfated ash in oil gave rise to lower pressure drop across CR-DPF [1]. In this paper, impact of oil-derived sulfur and phosphorus on NSR catalyst was investigated using a 4L direct injection common-rail diesel engine with turbo-intercooler. This engine equipped with NSR catalyst meets the Japanese new short-term emission regulations.
Technical Paper

Investigations of Compatibility of ETBE Gasoline with Current Gasoline Vehicles

Clarifying the impact of ETBE 8% blended fuel on current Japanese gasoline vehicles, under the Japan Clean Air Program II (JCAPII) we conducted exhaust emission tests, evaporative emission tests, durability tests on the exhaust after-treatment system, cold starting tests, and material immersion tests. ETBE 17% blended fuel was also investigated as a reference. The regulated exhaust emissions (CO, HC, and NOx) didn't increase with any increase of ETBE content in the fuel. In durability tests, no noticeable increase of exhaust emission after 40,000km was observed. In evaporative emissions tests, HSL (Hot Soak Loss) and DBL (Diurnal Breathing Loss) didn't increase. In cold starting tests, duration of cranking using ETBE 8% fuel was similar to that of ETBE 0%. In the material immersion tests, no influence of ETBE on these material properties was observed.
Technical Paper

Effects of Fuel Properties on the Performance of Advanced Diesel NOx Aftertreatment Devices

In the Japan Clean Air Program II (JCAP II) Diesel WG, effects of fuel properties on the performance of two types of diesel NOx emission aftertreatment devices, a Urea-SCR system and a NOx storage reduction (NSR) catalyst system, were examined. For a Urea-SCR system, the NOx emission reduction performance with and without an oxidation catalyst installed in front of the SCR catalyst at low exhaust gas temperature operation was compared. For an NSR catalyst system, the effect of fuel sulfur on both emissions and fuel economy during 50,000 km driving was examined. Furthermore, effects of other fuel properties such as distillation on exhaust emissions were investigated. The results show that sulfur is the influential factor for both devices. Namely, high NOx emission reduction performance of the Urea-SCR system with the oxidation catalyst at low exhaust gas temperature operation is influenced by sulfur.
Technical Paper

Combination of Combustion Concept and Fuel Property for Ultra-Clean DI Diesel

Experimental investigations were previously conducted with a direct-injection diesel engine with the aim of reducing exhaust emissions, especially nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). As a result of that work, a combustion concept, called Modulated Kinetics (MK) combustion, was developed that reduces NOx and smoke simultaneously through low-temperature combustion and premixed combustion to achieve a cleaner diesel engine. In subsequent work, it was found that applying a low compression ratio was effective in expanding the MK combustion region on the high-load side. The MK concept was then combined with an exhaust after-treatment system and applied to a test vehicle. The results indicated the attainment of ULEV emission levels, albeit in laboratory evaluations. In the present work, the combination of the MK combustion concept and certain fuel properties has been experimentally investigated with the aim of reducing exhaust emissions further.
Technical Paper

Emission Reduction Technologies Adopted for Japan U-LEV Certified Vehicles

This paper describes the emission reduction technologies applied to 4- and 6-cylinder engines used on Japanese market models certified as ultra-low emission vehicles (U-LEVs) in Japan. To qualify for this rigorous U-LEV certification, a vehicle must reduce hydrocarbon (HC) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by an additional 75% from the levels mandated by Japan's 2000 exhaust emission regulations. Nearly all Nissan Japanese models fitted with a gasoline engine, ranging from in-line 4-cylinder engines to V6 engines, have now been certified as U-LEVs. This has been accomplished by further improving the emission reduction technologies that were developed for the Sentra CA, which was launched in the U.S. market in 2000 as the world's first gasoline-fueled vehicle to qualify for Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (P-ZEV) credits from the California Air Resources Board. The specific new technologies involved are as follows.
Technical Paper

Development of a New HC-Adsorption Three-Way Catalyst System for Partial-ZEV Performance

This paper describes a newly developed HC-adsorption three-way catalyst and adsorption system that reduce cold-start HC emissions with high efficiency. This system is the first of its kind anywhere in the world to be implemented on production vehicles. An overview is given of the various improvements made to achieve higher cold-start HC conversion efficiency. Improvement of conversion performance was accomplished by (1) increasing the thermal stability of the HC adsorbent, (2) improving desorbed HC conversion efficiency and durability and (3) optimizing the geometric surface area (GSA) of the substrate. Concretely, the thermal stability of the adsorbent was improved by enhancing the high-temperature durability of zeolite. Improvement of desorbed HC conversion efficiency was accomplished by improving the OSC material so as to match the temperature rise characteristic and usage temperature of the catalyst.
Technical Paper

Development of Third Generation of Gasoline P-ZEV Technology

This paper describes the third generation of the partial zero emission vehicle (P-ZEV) technology originally adopted on the Nissan Sentra CA sold in California. The 2000 Nissan Sentra CA became the world's first gasoline-fueled car to qualify for P-ZEV credits from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The third-generation P-ZEV system has been substantially reduced in size and cost, compared with the Sentra CA system, enabling it to be used on high-volume models. This system complies with the P-ZEV requirements, including those for zero evaporative emissions and Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD-II). To achieve a more compact and lower-cost system, an ultra-thin-walled catalyst substrate, the world's first to attain a 1.8-mil wall thickness, has been adopted along with catalysts that display excellent low-temperature activity. As a result, low-temperature catalyst activity has been significantly improved.
Technical Paper

Development of Thinnest Wall Catalyst Substrate

The thinnest wall thickness of automotive catalyst substrates has previously been 30 μm for metal substrates and 50 μm for ceramic substrates. This paper describes a newly developed catalyst substrate that is the world's first to achieve 20-μm-thick cell walls. This catalyst substrate features low thermal capacity and low pressure loss. Generally, a thinner cell wall decreases substrate strength and heat shock resistance. However, the development of a “diffused junction method”, replacing the previous “wax bonding method”, and a small waved foil has overcome these problems. This diffused junction method made it possible to strengthen the contact points between the inner waved foil and the rolled foil compared with previous substrates. It was also found that heat shock resistance at high temperature can be much improved by applying a slight wave to the foil instead of using a plane foil.