A Novel Approach to Catalyst OBD
Pre- and post-catalyst Exhaust Gas Oxygen (EGO) sensors are traditionally used to monitor oxygen storage capacity for On Board Diagnostic (OBD) purposes. In this paper the same sensors are used instead to monitor catalyst-promoted hydrogen generation, exploiting the sensor's otherwise undesirable sensitivity to the hydrogen content in the exhaust. This offers a new approach to catalyst health diagnosis since hydrogen generation and HC conversion efficiency both depend on the degree of activation (or deactivation) of the catalyst surface, and are therefore strongly correlated to each other. The approach has the advantage that it is more directly related to catalyst deterioration or malfunction as defined (in terms of HC emissions levels) under current OBD legislation.