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.