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Technical Paper

Individual Cylinder Fuel Control with a Switching Oxygen Sensor

In this paper we discuss in detail an algorithm that addresses cylinder-to-cylinder imbalance issues. Maintaining even equivalence-ratio (ϕ) control across all the cylinders of an engine is confounded by imbalances which include fuel-injector flow variations, fresh-air intake maldistribution and uneven distribution of Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR). Moreover, in markets that are growing increasingly cost conscious, with ever tightening emissions regulations, correcting for such mismatches must not only be done, but done at little or no additional cost. To address this challenge, we developed an Individual Cylinder Fuel Control (ICFC) algorithm that estimates each cylinder's individual ϕ and then compensates to correct for any imbalance using only existing production hardware. Prior work in this area exists1,2, yet all disclosed production-intent work was performed using wide-range oxygen sensors, representing cost increases.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Fast Light-Off Planar Oxygen Sensor Application for Exhaust Emissions Reduction

It is well known that hydrocarbon reduction during a cold start is a major issue in achieving ultra low emissions standards. This paper describes one of the possible approaches for reducing the cold-start hydrocarbon emissions by using a fast “light-off” planar oxygen sensor. The goal of this study was to verify the operation characteristics of Delphi's fast “light-off” planar oxygen sensor's (INTELLEK OSP) operating characteristics and the closed-loop performance for achieving improved hydrocarbon control for stringent emission standards. Tests were conducted in open-loop and closed-loop mode under steady and transient conditions using a 1996 model year 2.4-liter DOHC in-line 4-cylinder engine with a close-coupled catalytic converter. Overall performance of the OSP showed relatively quick reaction time to reach the operating temperature.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of a Mechanical Variable Valve Actuation System

Compromises inherent with fixed valve lift and event timing have prompted engine designers to consider Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) systems for many decades. In recent years, some relatively basic forms of VVA have been introduced into production engines. Greater performance and driveability expectations of customers, more stringent emission regulations set by government legislators, and the mutual desire for higher fuel economy are increasingly at odds. As a solution, many OEM companies are seriously considering large-scale application of higher function VVA mechanisms in their next generation vehicles. This paper describes the continuing development progress of a mechanical VVA system. Design features and operation of the mechanism are explained. Test results are presented in two sections: motored cylinder head test data focuses on VVA system friction, control system performance, valve lift and component stress.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of a Non-Thermal Plasma System for Remediation of NOx in Diesel Exhaust

With ever more stringent CO2 emissions mandates, many automobile manufacturers are seeking the fuel economy benefits of diesel and lean-burn gasoline engines. At the same time the emissions standards that diesel and gasoline engines will have to meet in the next decade continue to reduce. Proposed solutions for meeting the stringent emissions standards all appear to have limitations, such as propensities to poisoning from sulfur, narrow operating temperature windows, and requirements for controls that give rapid rich excursions. Non-thermal plasma-catalyst systems have shown good performance in bench testing while being largely unaffected by these same issues. A two-stage system with a unique non-thermal plasma reactor combined with a zeolite-based catalyst has been constructed and shown to work over a wide temperature range.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Corona Reactors of Several Geometries for a Plasma Assisted Nitrogen Oxide Emission Reduction Device

Proposed vehicle emissions regulations for the near future have prompted automotive manufactures and component suppliers to focus heavily on developing more efficient exhaust aftertreatment devices to lower emissions from spark and compression ignition engines. One of the primary pollutants from lean-burn engines, especially from diesels, are oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Current three-way catalytic converters will not have adequate performance to meet future emission reduction requirements. Therefore, there is a need for researchers and engineers to develop efficient exhaust aftertreatment devices that will reduce NOx emissions from lean-burn engines. These devices must have very high conversion of NOx gases, be unaffected by exhaust-gas impurity such as sulfur, and have minimal impact on vehicle operations and fuel economy. An effective technology for NOx control that is currently receiving a lot of attention is a non-thermal plasma system.
Technical Paper

Impact of Alkali Metals on the Performance and Mechanical Properties of NOx Adsorber Catalysts

Performance of two types of NOx adsorber catalysts, one based on Ba and the other based on Ba with alkali metals, was compared fresh and after thermal aging. Incorporation of sodium(Na), potassium(K) and cesium(Cs) into NOx adsorber washcoat containing barium significantly increases the NOx conversions in the temperature range of 350-600°C over that of the alkali metal free NOx adsorber catalysts. NOx performance benefit and HC performance penalty were observed on both engine dynamometer and vehicle tests for the “Ba+alkali metals” NOx adsorber catalysts. “Ba+alkali metals” NOx adsorber catalysts also demonstrate superior sulfur resistance with better NOx performance after repeated sulfur poisonings and desulfations over the “Ba based” NOx adsorber catalysts.
Technical Paper

Fast Start-Up On-Board Gasoline Reformer for Near Zero Emissions in Spark-Ignition Engines

This paper describes recent progress in our program to develop a gasoline-fueled vehicle with an on-board reformer to provide near-zero tailpipe emissions. An on-board reformer converts gasoline (or another hydrocarbon-containing fuel) into reformate, containing hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Reformate has very wide combustion limits to enable SI engine operation under very dilute conditions (either ultra-lean or with heavy exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) concentrations). In previous publications, we have presented engine dynamometer results showing very low emissions with bottled reformate. This paper shows results from an engine linked to an experimental, fast start-up reformer. We present both performance data for the reformer as well as engine emissions and performance results. Program results continue to show an on-board reforming system to be an attractive option for providing near-zero tailpipe emissions to meet low emission standards.