A Study on N2O Formation Mechanism and Its Reduction in a Urea SCR System Employed in a DI Diesel Engine
N₂O is known to have a significantly high global warming potential. We measured N₂O emissions in engine-bench tests by changing the NO/NH₃ ratio and exhaust gas temperature at the oxidation catalyst inlet in a heavy-duty diesel engine equipped with a urea SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system. The results showed that the peak N₂O production ratio occurred at an exhaust gas temperature of around 200°C and the maximum value was 84%. Moreover, the N₂O production ratio increased with increasing NO/NH₃. Thus, we concluded that N₂O is produced via the NO branching reaction. Based on our results, two methods were proposed to decrease N₂O formation. At low temperatures ~200°C, NO should be reduced by controlling diesel combustion to lower the contribution of NO to N₂O production. This is essential because the SCR system cannot reduce NOx at low temperatures.