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Technical Paper

Particulate Filter Soot Load Measurements using Radio Frequency Sensors and Potential for Improved Filter Management

Efficient aftertreatment management requires accurate sensing of both particulate filter soot and ash levels for optimized feedback control. Currently a combination of pressure drop measurements and predictive models are used to indirectly estimate the loading state of the filter. Accurate determination of filter soot loading levels is challenging under certain operating conditions, particularly following partial regeneration events and at low flow rate (idle) conditions. This work applied radio frequency (RF)-based sensors to provide a direct measure of the particulate filter soot levels in situ. Direct measurements of the filter loading state enable advanced feedback controls to optimize the combined engine and aftertreatment system for improved DPF management. This study instrumented several cordierite and aluminum titanate diesel particulate filters with RF sensors. The systems were tested on a range of light- and heavy-duty applications, which included on- and off-road engines.
Journal Article

Direct Measurements of Soot/Ash Affinity in the Diesel Particulate Filter by Atomic Force Microscopy and Implications for Ash Accumulation and DPF Degradation

Inorganic engine lubricant additives, which have various specific, necessary functions such as anti-wear, leave the combustion chamber bound to soot particles (approximately ≤1% by mass) as ash [13], and accumulate in aftertreatment components. The diesel particulate filter (DPF) is especially susceptible to ash-related issues due to its wall-flow architecture which physically traps most of the soot and ash emissions. Accumulated lubricant-derived ash results in numerous problems including increased filter pressure drop and decreased catalytic functionality. While much progress has been made to understand the macroscopic details and effects of ash accumulation on DPF performance, this study explores the nano- and micron-scale forces which impact particle adhesion and mobility within the particulate filter.
Journal Article

Sensitivity Analysis of Ash Packing and Distribution in Diesel Particulate Filters to Transient Changes in Exhaust Conditions

Current CJ-4 lubricant specifications place chemical limits on diesel engine oil formulations to minimize the accumulation of lubricant-derived ash in diesel particulate filters (DPF). While lubricant additive chemistry plays a strong role in determining the amount and type of ash accumulated in the DPF, a number of additional factors play important roles as well. Relative to soot particles, whose residence time in the DPF is short-lived, ash particles remain in the filter for a significant fraction of the filter's useful life. While it is well-known that the properties (packing density, porosity, permeability) of soot deposits are primarily controlled by the local exhaust conditions at the time of particle deposition in the DPF, the cumulative operating history of the filter plays a much stronger role in controlling the properties and distribution of the accumulated ash.
Journal Article

Lubricant-Derived Ash Impact on Gasoline Particulate Filter Performance

The increasing use of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines coupled with the implementation of new particulate matter (PM) and particle number (PN) emissions regulations requires new emissions control strategies. Gasoline particulate filters (GPFs) present one approach to reduce particle emissions. Although primarily composed of combustible material which may be removed through oxidation, particle also contains incombustible components or ash. Over the service life of the filter the accumulation of ash causes an increase in exhaust backpressure, and limits the useful life of the GPF. This study utilized an accelerated aging system to generate elevated ash levels by injecting lubricant oil with the gasoline fuel into a burner system. GPFs were aged to a series of levels representing filter life up to 150,000 miles (240,000 km). The impact of ash on the filter pressure drop and on its sensitivity to soot accumulation was investigated at specific ash levels.
Journal Article

Ash Permeability Determination in the Diesel Particulate Filter from Ultra-High Resolution 3D X-Ray Imaging and Image-Based Direct Numerical Simulations

Diesel engine exhaust aftertreatment components, especially the diesel particulate filter (DPF), are subject to various modes of degradation over their lifetimes. One particular adverse effect on the DPF is the significant rise in pressure drop due to the accumulation of engine lubricant-derived ash which coats the inlet channel walls effectively decreasing the permeability of the filter. The decreased permeability due to ash in the DPF can result in increased filter pressure drop and decreased fuel economy. A unique two-step approach, consisting of experimental measurements and direct numerical simulations using ultra-high resolution 3D imaging data, has been utilized in this study to better understand the effects of ash accumulation on engine aftertreatment component functionality.
Journal Article

Ash Effects on Diesel Particulate Filter Pressure Drop Sensitivity to Soot and Implications for Regeneration Frequency and DPF Control

Ash, primarily derived from diesel engine lubricants, accumulates in diesel particulate filters directly affecting the filter's pressure drop sensitivity to soot accumulation, thus impacting regeneration frequency and fuel economy. After approximately 33,000 miles of equivalent on-road aging, ash comprises more than half of the material accumulated in a typical cordierite filter. Ash accumulation reduces the effective filtration area, resulting in higher local soot loads toward the front of the filter. At a typical ash cleaning interval of 150,000 miles, ash more than doubles the filter's pressure drop sensitivity to soot, in addition to raising the pressure drop level itself. In order to evaluate the effects of lubricant-derived ash on DPF pressure drop performance, a novel accelerated ash loading system was employed to generate the ash and load the DPFs under carefully-controlled exhaust conditions.
Journal Article

Characteristics and Effects of Lubricant Additive Chemistry on Ash Properties Impacting Diesel Particulate Filter Service Life

Ash accumulation in diesel particulate filters, mostly from essential lubricant additives, decreases the filter's soot storage capacity, adversely affects fuel economy, and negatively impacts the filter's service life. While the adverse effects of ash accumulation on DPF performance are well known, the underlying mechanisms controlling these effects are not. To address these issues, results of detailed measurements with specially formulated lubricants, correlating ash properties to individual lubricant additives and their effects on DPF pressure drop, are presented. Investigations using the specially-formulated lubricants showed ash consisting primarily of calcium sulfates to exhibit significantly increased flow resistance as opposed to ash primarily composed of zinc phosphates. Furthermore, ash accumulated along the filer walls was found to be packed approximately 25% denser than ash accumulated in the channel end-plugs.