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Technical Paper

Study of Effects of Thermal Insulation Techniques on a Catalytic Converter for Reducing Cold Start Emissions

Previous work done at the University of Michigan shows the capability of the vacuum-insulated catalytic converter (VICC) to retain heat during soak and the resulting benefits in reducing cold start emissions. This paper provides an improved version of the design which overcomes some of the shortcomings of the previous model and further improves the applicability and benefits of VICC. Also, newer materials have been evaluated and their effects on heat retention and emissions have studied using the 1-D after treatment model. Cold start emissions constitute around 60% to 80% of all the hydrocarbon and CO emissions in present day vehicles. The time taken to achieve the catalyst light-off temperature in a three-way catalytic converter significantly affects the emissions and fuel efficiency. The current work aims at developing a method to retain heat in catalytic converter, thus avoiding the need for light-off and reducing cold start emissions effectively.
Journal Article

Vehicle and Drive Cycle Simulation of a Vacuum Insulated Catalytic Converter

A GT-SUITE vehicle-aftertreatment model has been developed to examine the cold-start emissions reduction capabilities of a Vacuum Insulated Catalytic Converter (VICC). This converter features a thermal management system to maintain the catalyst monolith above its light-off temperature between trips so that most of a vehicle’s cold-start exhaust emissions are avoided. The VICC thermal management system uses vacuum insulation around the monoliths. To further boost its heat retention capacity, a metal phase-change material (PCM) is packaged between the monoliths and vacuum insulation. To prevent overheating of the converter during periods of long, heavy engine use, a few grams of metal hydride charged with hydrogen are attached to the hot side of the vacuum insulation. The GT-SUITE model successfully incorporated the transient heat transfer effects of the PCM using the effective heat capacity method.
Journal Article

The Effects of Temperature, Shear Stress, and Deposit Thickness on EGR Cooler Fouling Removal Mechanism - Part 2

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers are used on diesel engines to reduce peak in-cylinder flame temperatures, leading to less NOx formation during the combustion process. There is an ongoing concern with soot and hydrocarbon fouling inside the cold surface of the cooler. The fouling layer reduces the heat transfer efficiency and causes pressure drop to increase across the cooler. A number of experimental studies have demonstrated that the fouling layer tends to asymptotically approach a critical height, after which the layer growth ceases. One potential explanation for this behavior is the removal mechanism derived by the shear force applied on the soot and hydrocarbon deposit surface. As the deposit layer thickens, shear force applied on the fouling surface increases due to the flow velocity growth. When a critical shear force is applied, deposit particles start to get removed.
Technical Paper

Optical and Infrared In-Situ Measurements of EGR Cooler Fouling

The use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in internal combustion engines has significant impacts on combustion and emissions. EGR can be used to reduce in-cylinder NOx production, reduce emitted particulate matter, and enable advanced forms of combustion. To maximize the benefits of EGR, the exhaust gases are often cooled with on-engine liquid to gas heat exchangers. A common problem with this approach is the build-up of a fouling layer inside the heat exchanger due to thermophoresis and condensation, reducing the effectiveness of the heat exchanger in lowering gas temperatures. Literature has shown the effectiveness to initially drop rapidly and then approach steady state after a variable amount of time. The asymptotic behavior of the effectiveness has not been well explained. A range of theories have been proposed including fouling layer removal, changing fouling layer properties, and cessation of thermophoresis.
Journal Article

Modeling of Thermophoretic Soot Deposition and Hydrocarbon Condensation in EGR Coolers

EGR coolers are effective to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines due to lower intake charge temperature. EGR cooler fouling reduces heat transfer capacity of the cooler significantly and increases pressure drop across the cooler. Engine coolant provided at 40–90 C is used to cool EGR coolers. The presence of a cold surface in the cooler causes particulate soot deposition and hydrocarbon condensation. The experimental data also indicates that the fouling is mainly caused by soot and hydrocarbons. In this study, a 1-D model is extended to simulate particulate soot and hydrocarbon deposition on a concentric tube EGR cooler with a constant wall temperature. The soot deposition caused by thermophoresis phenomena is taken into account the model. Condensation of a wide range of hydrocarbon molecules are also modeled but the results show condensation of only heavy molecules at coolant temperature.
Technical Paper

Numerical Modeling and Experimental Investigations of EGR Cooler Fouling in a Diesel Engine

EGR coolers are mainly used on diesel engines to reduce intake charge temperature and thus reduce emissions of NOx and PM. Soot and hydrocarbon deposition in the EGR cooler reduces heat transfer efficiency of the cooler and increases emissions and pressure drop across the cooler. They may also be acidic and corrosive. Fouling has been always treated as an approximate factor in heat exchanger designs and it has not been modeled in detail. The aim of this paper is to look into fouling formation in an EGR cooler of a diesel engine. A 1-D model is developed to predict and calculate EGR cooler fouling amount and distribution across a concentric tube heat exchanger with a constant wall temperature. The model is compared to an experiment that is designed for correlation of the model. Effectiveness, mass deposition, and pressure drop are the parameters that have been compared. The results of the model are in a good agreement with the experimental data.
Journal Article

Diesel EGR Cooler Fouling

The buildup of deposits in EGR coolers causes significant degradation in heat transfer performance, often on the order of 20-30%. Deposits also increase pressure drop across coolers and thus may degrade engine efficiency under some operating conditions. It is unlikely that EGR cooler deposits can be prevented from forming when soot and HC are present. The presence of cooled surfaces will cause thermophoretic soot deposition and condensation of HC and acids. While this can be affected by engine calibration, it probably cannot be eliminated as long as cooled EGR is required for emission control. It is generally felt that “dry fluffy” soot is less likely to cause major fouling than “heavy wet” soot. An oxidation catalyst in the EGR line can remove HC and has been shown to reduce fouling in some applications. The combination of an oxidation catalyst and a wall-flow filter largely eliminates fouling. Various EGR cooler designs affect details of deposit formation.