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Technical Paper

Numerical Modeling and Experimental Investigations of EGR Cooler Fouling in a Diesel Engine

EGR coolers are mainly used on diesel engines to reduce intake charge temperature and thus reduce emissions of NOx and PM. Soot and hydrocarbon deposition in the EGR cooler reduces heat transfer efficiency of the cooler and increases emissions and pressure drop across the cooler. They may also be acidic and corrosive. Fouling has been always treated as an approximate factor in heat exchanger designs and it has not been modeled in detail. The aim of this paper is to look into fouling formation in an EGR cooler of a diesel engine. A 1-D model is developed to predict and calculate EGR cooler fouling amount and distribution across a concentric tube heat exchanger with a constant wall temperature. The model is compared to an experiment that is designed for correlation of the model. Effectiveness, mass deposition, and pressure drop are the parameters that have been compared. The results of the model are in a good agreement with the experimental data.
Technical Paper

Literature Survey of Water Injection Benefits on Boosted Spark Ignited Engines

The automotive industry has been witnessing a major shift towards downsized boosted direct injection engines due to diminishing petroleum reserves and increasingly stringent emission targets. Boosted engines operate at a high mean effective pressure (MEP), resulting in higher in-cylinder pressures and temperatures, effectively leading to increased possibility of abnormal combustion events like knock and pre-ignition. Therefore, the compression ratio and boost pressure in modern engines are restricted, which in-turn limits the engine efficiency and power. To mitigate conditions where the engine is prone to knocking, the engine control system uses spark retard and/or mixture enrichment, which decrease indicated work and increase specific fuel consumption. Several researchers have advocated water injection as an approach to replace or supplement existing knock mitigation techniques.
Technical Paper

NOx Destruction Behavior of Select Materials When Combined with a Non-Thermal Plasma

NOx reduction efficiency under simulated lean burn conditions is examined for a non-thermal plasma in combination with borosilicate glass, alumina, titania, Cu-ZSM-5 and Na-ZSM-5. The non-thermal plasma alone or with a packed bed of borosilicate glass beads converts NO to NO2 and partially oxidizes hydrocarbons. Alumina and Na-ZSM-5 reduce a maximum of 40% and 50% of NOx respectively; however, the energy cost is high for Na- ZSM-5. Cu-ZSM-5 converts less than 20% with a very high energy consumption. The anatase form of titania reduces up to 35% of NOx at a relatively high energy consumption (150J/L) when the catalyst is contained in the plasma region, but does not show any appreciable conversion when placed downstream from the reactor. This phenomenon is explained by photo-activation of anatase in the plasma.
Journal Article

The Effects of Temperature, Shear Stress, and Deposit Thickness on EGR Cooler Fouling Removal Mechanism - Part 1

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) coolers are commonly used in diesel and modern gasoline engines to reduce the re-circulated gas temperature. A common problem with the EGR cooler is a reduction of the effectiveness due to the fouling layer primarily caused by thermophoresis, diffusion, and hydrocarbon condensation. Typically, effectiveness decreases rapidly at first, and asymptotically stabilizes over time. There are several hypotheses of this stabilizing phenomenon; one of the possible theories is a deposit removal mechanism. Verifying such a mechanism and finding out the correlation between the removal and stabilization tendency would be a key factor to understand and overcome the problem. Some authors have proposed that the removal is a possible influential factor, while other authors suggest that removal is not a significant factor under realistic conditions.
Journal Article

The Effects of Temperature, Shear Stress, and Deposit Thickness on EGR Cooler Fouling Removal Mechanism - Part 2

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers are used on diesel engines to reduce peak in-cylinder flame temperatures, leading to less NOx formation during the combustion process. There is an ongoing concern with soot and hydrocarbon fouling inside the cold surface of the cooler. The fouling layer reduces the heat transfer efficiency and causes pressure drop to increase across the cooler. A number of experimental studies have demonstrated that the fouling layer tends to asymptotically approach a critical height, after which the layer growth ceases. One potential explanation for this behavior is the removal mechanism derived by the shear force applied on the soot and hydrocarbon deposit surface. As the deposit layer thickens, shear force applied on the fouling surface increases due to the flow velocity growth. When a critical shear force is applied, deposit particles start to get removed.
Journal Article

An EGR Cooler Fouling Model: Experimental Correlation and Model Uses

Thermal effectiveness of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) coolers used in diesel engines can progressively decrease and stabilize over time due to inner fouling layer of the cooler tubes. Thermophoretic force has been identified as the major cause of diesel exhaust soot fouling, and models are proposed in the literature but improvements in simulation are needed especially for the long-term trend of soot deposition. To describe the fouling stabilization behavior, a removal mechanism is required to account for stabilization of the soot layer. Observations from previous experiments on surrogate circular tubes suggest there are three primary factors to determine removal mechanisms: surface temperature, thickness, and shear velocity. Based on this hypothesis, we developed a 1D CFD fouling model for predicting the thermal effectiveness reduction of real EGR coolers. The model includes the two competing mechanisms mentioned that results in fouling balance.
Journal Article

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.
Journal Article

Modeling of Thermophoretic Soot Deposition and Hydrocarbon Condensation in EGR Coolers

EGR coolers are effective to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines due to lower intake charge temperature. EGR cooler fouling reduces heat transfer capacity of the cooler significantly and increases pressure drop across the cooler. Engine coolant provided at 40–90 C is used to cool EGR coolers. The presence of a cold surface in the cooler causes particulate soot deposition and hydrocarbon condensation. The experimental data also indicates that the fouling is mainly caused by soot and hydrocarbons. In this study, a 1-D model is extended to simulate particulate soot and hydrocarbon deposition on a concentric tube EGR cooler with a constant wall temperature. The soot deposition caused by thermophoresis phenomena is taken into account the model. Condensation of a wide range of hydrocarbon molecules are also modeled but the results show condensation of only heavy molecules at coolant temperature.