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Technical Paper

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.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Predictive Model for DEF Injection and Urea Decomposition in Mobile SCR DeNOx Systems

Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of oxides of nitrogen with ammonia gas is a key technology that is being favored to meet stringent NOx emission standards across the world. Typically, in this technology, a liquid mixture of urea and water - known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) - is injected into the hot exhaust gases leading to atomization and subsequent spray processes. The water content vaporizes, while the urea content undergoes thermolysis and forms ammonia and isocyanic acid, that can form additional ammonia through hydrolysis. Due to the increasing interest in SCR technology, it is desirable to have capabilities to model these processes with reasonable accuracy to both improve the understanding of processes important to the aftertreatment and to aid in system optimization. In the present study, a multi-dimensional model is developed to simulate DEF spray processes and the conversion of urea to ammonia. The model is then implemented into a commercial CFD code.
Technical Paper

Effect of Hydrothermal Aging on the Catalytic Performance and Morphology of a Vanadia SCR Catalyst

Titania supported vanadia catalysts have been widely used for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in diesel exhaust aftertreatment systems. Vanadia SCR (V-SCR) catalysts are preferred for many applications because they have demonstrated advantages of catalytic activity for NOx removal and tolerance to sulfur poisoning. The primary shortcoming of V-SCR catalysts is their thermal durability. Degradation in NOx conversion is also related to aging conditions such as at high temperatures. In this study, the impact that short duration hydrothermal aging has on a state-of-the-art V-SCR catalyst was investigated by aging for 2 hr intervals with progressively increased temperatures from 525 to 700°C. The catalytic performance of this V-SCR catalyst upon aging was evaluated by three different reactions of NH₃ SCR, NH₃ oxidation, and NO oxidation under simulated diesel exhaust conditions from 170 to 500°C.
Technical Paper

Thermal and Fluid Dynamic Considerations in Aftertreatment System Design for SCR Solid Deposit Mitigation

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) with ammonia gas has established itself as an effective diesel aftertreatment technology to meet stringent emission standards enforced by worldwide regulatory bodies. Typically, in this technology, aqueous urea solution of eutectic composition - known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) - is injected into hot exhaust gases leading to a series of thermal, fluid dynamic and reactive processes that eventually produces the ammonia necessary for NOx reduction reactions within monolithic catalytic substrates. Incomplete decomposition of the injected urea can lead to formation of solid deposits that adversely affect system performance by increasing the engine back pressure, reducing de-NOx efficiency, and lowering the overall fuel economy.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Diesel Exhaust Fluid Dosing on Tailpipe Particle Number Emissions

Introduction of modern diesel aftertreatment, primarily selective catalytic reduction (SCR) designed to reduced NOx, has increased the presence of urea decomposition byproducts, mainly ammonia, in the aftertreatment system. This increase in ammonia has been shown to lead to particle formation in the aftertreatment system. In this study, a state of the art diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)-SCR system was investigated in order to determine the influence of DEF dosing on solid particle count. Post diesel particulate filter (DPF) particle count (> 23 nm) is shown to increase by over 400% during the World Harmonized Transient Cycle (WHTC) due to DEF dosing. This increase in tailpipe particle count warranted a detailed parametric study of DEF dosing parameters effect on tailpipe particle count. Global ammonia to NOx ratio, DEF droplet residence time, and SCR catalyst inlet temperature were found to be significant factors in post-DPF DEF based particle formation.
Technical Paper

Developing Design Guidelines for an SCR Assembly Equipped for RF Sensing of NH3 Loading

The Cu-zeolite (CuZ) SCR catalyst enables higher NOx conversion efficiency in part because it can store a significant amount of NH3. “NH3 storage control”, where diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is dosed in accord with a target NH3 loading, is widely used with CuZ catalysts to achieve very high efficiency. The NH3 loading actually achieved on the catalyst is currently estimated through a stoichiometric calculation. With future high-capacity CuZ catalyst designs, it is likely that the accuracy of this NH3 loading estimate will become limiting for NOx conversion efficiency. Therefore, a direct measurement of NH3 loading is needed; RF sensing enables this. Relative to RF sensing of soot in a DPF (which is in commercial production), RF sensing of NH3 adsorbed on CuZ is more challenging. Therefore, more attention must be paid to the “microwave resonance cavity” created within the SCR assembly. The objective of this study was to develop design guidelines to enable and enhance RF sensing.
Journal Article

Comparison of Measurement Strategies for Light Absorbing Aerosols from Modern Diesel Engines

Light absorbing components of aerosols, often called black carbon (BC), are emitted from combustion sources and are believed to play a considerable role in direct atmospheric radiative forcing by a number of climate scientists. In addition, it has been shown that BC is associated with adverse health effects in a number of epidemiological studies. Although the optical properties (both absorbing and scattering) of combustion aerosols are needed in order to accurately assess the impact of emissions on radiative forcing, many models use radiative properties of diesel particulate matter that were determined over two decades ago. In response to concerns of the human health impacts of particulate matter (PM), regulatory bodies around the world have significantly tightened PM emission limits for diesel engines. These requirements have resulted in considerable changes in engine technology requiring updated BC measurements from modern engines equipped with aftertreatment systems.
Journal Article

Development of Flow Uniformity Indices for Performance Evaluation of Aftertreatment Systems

With the on- and off-road diesel engine emission regulations getting more stringent across the world, diesel aftertreatment systems are expected to deliver outstanding performance and reliability. These objectives should be met by fulfilling tight packaging constraints and incurring only modest material and testing costs. A major strategy for meeting these often conflicting requirements is the effective use of simulation tools such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in system design and performance evaluation. Prerequisites for using this CFD analysis-led-design approach, however, are knowledge of the confidence level of the predictions and knowledge of the appropriate transfer functions that establish the relationships between the measured performance parameters and model predictions. The primary aim of the present work is to develop statistically and physically relevant measures that assess the uniformity of flow in aftertreatment systems.
Journal Article

Filtration Efficiency and Pressure Drop Performance of Ceramic Partial Wall Flow Diesel Particulate Filters

A simple 1-dimensional filter model, with symmetric and asymmetric channels, has been developed to investigate the fundamental behavior and performance of ceramic partial diesel particulate filters (PFs). The governing equations of mass and momentum are similar to those of a full DPF [7, 15]. A standard DPF with the plugs at its inlet face removed has been referred to as a ‘rear-plugged PF’ while, one with the plugs at the outlet face removed has been referred to as a ‘front-plugged PF’ in the present study. Removal of some of the plugs from a standard ceramic DPF reduces the (i) overall pressure drop (ΔP) across the filter, (ii) filtration efficiency (FE) of the DPF, and (iii) manufacturing cost. Partial filters stand a high chance of being deployed in diesel exhaust after-treatment systems for the emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India, China) that follow Euro 4 emission regulations.