Interaction Between Gasoline Properties and Engine Management System and Effects on 3-Way Catalyst Efficiency
The EPEFE study (European Programme on Emissions, Fuels and Engine Technologies), /1/ and other programmes have identified an increase in tailpipe NOx emissions with reduced gasoline aromatics content for modern 3-way controlled catalyst vehicles. This effect occurs with fully warmed-up catalyst under closed-loop operation. In order to understand the reasons for this effect VW and Shell have mechanistically investigated the effects of fuel properties on EMS (engine management system) and catalyst performance. Fuels with independent variation of oxygen, aromatics and mid-range volatility were tested in different VW engines. λ was monitored using sensors located both pre and post catalyst. The results confirmed that reducing gasoline aromatics content reduced engine-out emissions but increased tailpipe NOx emissions. It could be shown that differences in H/C ratio led to differences in the hydrogen content of engine-out emissions which affected the reading of the λ sensor.