Lab Study of Urea Deposit Formation and Chemical Transformation Process of Diesel Aftertreatment System
Diesel exhaust fluid, DEF, (32.5 wt.% urea aqueous solution) is widely used as the NH3 source for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx in diesel aftertreatment systems. The transformation of sprayed liquid phase DEF droplets to gas phase NH3 is a complex physical and chemical process. Briefly, it experiences water vaporization, urea thermolysis/decomposition and hydrolysis. Depending on the DEF doser, decomposition reaction tube (DRT) design and operating conditions, incomplete decomposition of injected urea could lead to solid urea deposit formation in the diesel aftertreatment system. The formed deposits could lead to engine back pressure increase and DeNOx performance deterioration etc. The formed urea deposits could be further transformed to chemically more stable substances upon exposure to hot exhaust gas, therefore it is critical to understand this transformation process.