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Technical Paper

Plasma-Catalysis for Diesel Exhaust Treatment: Current State of the Art

2001-03-05
2001-01-0185
Nonthermal plasma discharges in combination with catalysts are being developed for diesel aftertreatment. NOx conversion has been shown over several different catalyst materials. Particulate removal has also been demonstrated. The gas phase chemistry of the plasma discharge is described. The plasma is oxidative. NO is converted to NO2, CH3ONO2 and HNO3. Hydrocarbons are partially oxidized resulting in aldehydes and CO along with various organic species. Soot will oxidize if it is held in the plasma. When HC is present, SO2 is not converted to sulfates. Suitable plasma-catalysts can achieve NOx conversion over 70%, with a wider effective temperature range than non-plasma catalysts. NOx conversion requires HC and O2. Electrical power consumption and required exhaust HC levels increase fuel consumption by several percent. A plasma catalyst system has demonstrated over 90% particulate removal in vehicle exhaust.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Plasma-Catalyst and Lean NOx Catalyst for Diesel NOx Reduction

2000-10-16
2000-01-2895
Projected NOx and fuel costs are compared for a plasma-catalyst system and an active lean NOx catalyst system. Comparisons are based on modeling of FTP cycle performance. The model uses steady state laboratory device characteristics, combined with measured vehicle exhaust data to predict NOx conversion efficiency and fuel economy penalties. The plasma system uses a proprietary catalyst downstream of a plasma discharge. The active lean NOx catalyst uses a catalyst along with addition of hydrocarbons to the exhaust. For the plasma catalyst system, NOx conversion is available over a wide temperature range. Increased electrical power improves conversion but degrades vehicle fuel economy; 10 J/L energy deposition costs roughly 3% fuel economy. Improved efficiency is also available with larger catalyst size or increased exhaust hydrocarbon content. For the active lean NOx system, NOx conversion is available only in a narrow temperature range.
Technical Paper

Composition of Clusters Formed by Plasma Discharge in Simulated Engine Exhaust

2000-10-16
2000-01-2967
Previously reported experiments revealed the presence of a small number of clusters or very small particles in the effluent of a nonthermal plasma reactor when treating a simulated engine exhaust mixture. These clusters are smaller than 7 nm. The quantity of clusters is orders of magnitude smaller than the particulate diesel or gasoline engine exhaust typically contains. In this report, we describe further experiments designed to determine the chemical composition of the clusters. Clusters were collected on the surface of a silicon substrate by exposing it to the effluent flow for extended time periods. The resulting deposits were analyzed by high mass resolution SIMS and by XPS. The SIMS analysis reveals NH4+, CH6N+, SO-, SO2-, SO3- and HSO4- ions. XPS reveals the presence of N and S at binding energies consistent with that of ammonium sulfate.
Technical Paper

Diesel Exhaust Simulator: Design and Application to Plasma Discharge Testing

2003-03-03
2003-01-1184
A diesel fuel and air diffusion flame burner system has been designed for laboratory simulation of diesel exhaust gas. The system consists of mass flow controllers and a fuel pump, and employs several unique design and construction features. It produces particulate emissions with size, number distribution, and morphology similar to diesel exhaust. At the same time, it generates NOx emissions and HC similar to diesel. The system has been applied to test plasma discharges. Different design discharge devices have been tested, with results indicating the importance of testing devices with soot and moisture. Both packed bed reactor and flat plate dielectric barrier discharge systems remove some soot from the gas, but the designs tested are susceptible to soot fouling and related electrical failures. The burner is simple and stable, and is suitable for development and aging of plasma and catalysts systems in the laboratory environment.
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