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Journal Article

1D Thermo-Fluid Dynamic Modeling of Reacting Flows inside Three-Way Catalytic Converters

In this work a detailed model to simulate the transient behavior of catalytic converters is presented. The model is able to predict the unsteady and reacting flows in the exhaust ducts, by solving the system of conservation equations of mass, momentum, energy and transport of reacting chemical species. The en-gine and the intake system have not been included in the simulation, imposing the measured values of mass flow, gas temperature and chemical composition as a boundary condition at the inlet of the exhaust system. A detailed analysis of the diffusion stage triggering is proposed along with simplifications of the physics, finalized to the reduction of the calculation time. Submodels for water condensation and its following evaporation on the monolith surface have been taken into account as well as oxygen storage promoted by ceria oxides.
Journal Article

Design of Catalytic Devices by Means of Genetic Algorithm: Comparison Between Open-Cell Foam and Honeycomb Type Substrates

Metallic foams or sponges are materials with a cell structure suitable for many industrial applications, such as reformers, heat catalytic converters, etc. The success of these materials is due to the combination of various characteristics such as mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange properties, low flow resistance and sound absorption. Different materials and manufacturing processes produce different type of structure and properties for various applications. In this work a genetic algorithm has been developed and applied to support the design of catalytic devices. In particular, two substrates were considered, namely the traditional honeycomb and an alternative open-cell foam type. CFD simulations of pressure losses and literature based correlations for the heat and mass transfer were used to support the genetic algorithm in finding the best compromise between flow resistance and pollutant abatement.
Technical Paper

Analysis of TWC Characteristics in a Euro6 Gasoline Light Duty Vehicle

A Euro6 gasoline light duty vehicle has been tested at the engine dynamometer and the emissions have been analyzed upstream and downstream the Three-Way-Catalyst (TWC) during a WLTC cycle. Catalyst simulations have been used for assessing the processes inside the catalytic converter using a reaction scheme based on 19 brutto reactions (direct oxidation and reduction, selective catalytic reductions with CO, C3H6 and H2, steam reforming, water-gas shift and bulk ceria as well as surface ceria reactions). The reactions have been parameterized in order to best approximate the measurements. Based on the reactions taken into account, the real vehicle emissions can be predicted with good accuracy. The simulations show that the cycle emissions comprise mainly the cold start contribution as well as discrete emission break-through events during transients. During cold start no reactions are evident in the catalyst before the temperature of the gas entering the catalyst reaches 270°C.
Technical Paper

Heat Transfer Analysis of Catalytic Converters during Cold Starts

The transient heat transfer behavior of an automotive catalytic converter has been simulated with OpenFOAM in 1D. The model takes into consideration the gas-solid convective heat transfer, axial wall conduction and heat capacity effects in the solid phase, but also the chemical reactions of CO oxidation, based on simplified Arrhenius and Langmuir-Hinshelwood approaches. The associated parameters are the results of data in literature tuned by experiments. Simplified cases of constant flow rates and gas temperatures in the catalyst inflow have been chosen for a comprehensive analysis of the heat and mass transfer phenomena. The impact of inlet flow temperatures and inlet flow rates on the heat up characteristics as well as in the CO emissions have been quantified. A dimensional analysis is proposed and dimensionless temperature difference and space-time coordinates are introduced.