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Technical Paper

Plate Type Methanol Steam Reformer Using New Catalytic Combustion for a Fuel Cell

Methanol steam reforming, which is an endothermic reaction, needs some heating. Both methanol conversion ratio and carbon monoxide (CO) concentration increase when temperature is elevated. As CO poisons a typical polymer electrolyte of a fuel cell, the relationship between methanol conversion ratio and CO concentration is a trade-off one. It was found from preliminary researches that the reforming reaction speed is controlled by heat transfer rate at large methanol flow rate, where methanol conversion ratio becomes lower and CO concentration becomes higher. Therefore it is necessary to develop a new methanol reforming concept that provides stable combustion for heating and enhanced heat transfer for improving the trade-off relationship and making a compact reformer. Reforming catalyst using metal honeycomb support and a new catalytic combustion were applied to a new concept plate type methanol steam reformer, which is used in a fuel cell of 3 kW-class electric generation.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of Deactivation Process of Three-way Catalytic Converters

This paper presents the numerical simulation method to predict the deactivation process of three-way catalytic converters. Three-way catalytic converter's deactivation typically results from thermal and chemical mechanisms. The major factor of thermal deactivation is the sintering of noble metal particles, which is known to depend on the ageing temperature and the oxygen concentration in the exhaust gas. The chemical deactivation is mainly caused by the poisoning, which has two effects on the catalyst deactivation. One effect is the loss of the catalyst activity, which is expressed by reduced frequency factors of reaction rates. Another effect is the suppression of the noble metal sintering. Poison deposits prevent the noble metal particles from moving in the washcoat, assisted by the reduced thermal loading of reaction heats, which is caused by the loss of the catalyst activity. Modeling these deactivation factors, we propose the rate expression of noble metal sintering.
Technical Paper

New Technology for Reducing the Power Consumption of Electrically Heated Catalysts

A new heating strategy for electrically heated catalysts has been developed which reduces power consumption while achieving the desired hydrocarbon conversion. The relationship between catalyst volume and power consumption is presented. Observations of catalytic reactions by a thermoviewer camera and mathematical simulations are used to optimize the heating pattern. Significant reductions in power consumption, while maintaining conversion efficiency, are reported by heating only the front face of the catalyst. However, prior to mass production additional work is required to improve durability, and reliability and to resolve manufacturing issues.
Technical Paper

Effects of California Phase 2 Reformulated Gasoline Specifications on Exhaust Emission Reduction

In response to various reformulated gasoline regulations, several studies have been conducted to evaluate the relationship between fuel properties and vehicle exhaust emissions. These studies, however, have focused on the fuel effect and have not examined the most promising advanced technology emission control systems on low emission vehicles. Toyota's reformulated gasoline research first set out to study the effect fuel compositions has on 2 different emission control systems. On both systems, non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) emissions were significantly affected by the 50% and 90% distillation temperature (T50 and T90). A correlation was also found exhaust olefine content and the amount of MTBE contained in the fuel. Research was also conducted on the specific ozone reactivity (SOR) of exhaust hydrocarbons. Various fuels with similar specifications but blended from different feedstocks were evaluated.
Technical Paper

Mechanism of Intake Valve Deposit Formation Part III: Effects of Gasoline Quality

Quality control of gasoline constituents and its effect on the Intake Valve Deposits (IVD) has become a recent issue. In this paper, the effects of gasoline and oil quality on intake valve deposits were investigated using an Intake Valve Deposit Test Bench and a Sludge Simulator. The deposit formation from the gasoline maximized at an intake valve temperature of approximately 160 °C, and the deposits formed from the engine oil were maximum at approximately 250 °C. Therefore, the contribution of the gasoline or the engine oil appears to depend on the engine conditions. The gasoline which contains MTBE or ethanol with no detergent additive slightly increases the deposition amount. The gasoline with a superior detergent significantly decreases the deposition amount even when MTBE or ethanol is blended in the gasoline. Appropriate detergent fuel additive retards the oil deterioration.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Poor Engine Response Caused by MTBE-Blended Gasoline from the Standpoint of Fuel Evaporation

Fifty percent distillation temperature (T50) can be used as a warm-up driveability indicator for a hydrocarbon-type gasoline. MTBE-blended gasoline, however, provides poorer driveability than a hydrocarbon-type gasoline with the same T50. The purposes of this paper are to examine the reason for poor engine driveability caused by MTBE-blended gasolines, and to propose a new driveability indicator for gasolines including MTBE-blended gasolines. The static and dynamic evaporation characteristics of MTBE-blended gasolines such as the evaporation rate and the behavior of each component during evaporation were analyzed mainly by using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. The results of the analysis show that the MTBE concentration in the vapor, evaporated at ambient temperature (e.g. 24°C), is higher than that in the original gasoline. Accordingly, the fuel vapor with enriched MTBE flows into the combustion chamber of an engine just after the throttle valve is opened.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Fuel Qualities on White Smoke Emissions from Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In many countries, cetane number and distillation properties of diesel fuel have been changing, thus affecting the performance of diesel engines. This paper describes investigations made on the effect of diesel fuel quality on white smoke (one of the important emissions of diesel engines). The result of simple laboratory tests simulating high altitude conditions plus field tests using three types of disel engines supplied with various types of diesel fuels is given. It was found that white smoke appearing tendency correlated best with cetane number and the 90 percent distillation point of the fuel. The field tests performed at high altitude correlated well with the simple laboratory tests.