Rapid Deactivation of Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engine Exhaust Oxidation Catalysts
Methane emissions from lean-burn natural gas engines can be relatively high. As natural gas fueled vehicles become more prevalent, future regulations may restrict these emissions. Preliminary reports indicated that conventional, precious metal oxidation catalysts rapidly deactivate (in less than 50 hours) in lean-burn natural gas engine exhaust. This investigation is directed at quantifying this catalyst deactivation and understanding its cause. The results may also be relevant to oxidation of lean-burn propane and gasoline engine exhaust. A platinum/palladium on alumina catalyst and a palladium on alumina catalyst were aged in the exhaust of a lean-burn natural gas engine (Cummins B5.9G). The engine was fueled with compressed natural gas. Catalyst aging was accomplished through a series of steady state cycles and heavy-duty transient tests (CFR 40 Part 86 Subpart N) lasting 10 hours. Hydrocarbons in the exhaust were speciated by gas chromatography.