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Technical Paper

Development of a 3D Numerical Model for Predicting Spray, Urea Decomposition and Mixing in SCR Systems

In a typical automotive SCR system, the urea-water solution is injected into the exhaust gas stream and breaks up into small droplets through the atomization process due to the interaction with the exhaust gas flow. The water vapor is released by vaporization and leaves the urea component in the droplets. The urea component is converted to ammonia and iso-cyanic acid and other species through thermal decomposition and hydrolysis processes. A multi-dimensional CFD model is developed in the present study to simulate injection and mixing in the automotive SCR systems. The urea-water solution is modeled as a bi-component liquid mixture with evaporation laws for each component. A Lagrangian method with spray sub-models is used to track the liquid droplets and the atomization process. The thermal decomposition and hydrolysis processes of the urea and iso-cyanic acid are simulated by simplified two-step reaction mechanisms.
Technical Paper

Plasma-Facilitated SCR of NOx in Heavy-Duty Diesel Exhaust

This paper describes two independent studies on γ-alumina as a plasma-activated catalyst. γ-alumina (2.5 - 4.3 wt%) was coated onto the surface of mesoporous silica to determine the importance of aluminum surface coordination on NOx conversion in conjunction with nonthermal plasma. Results indicate that the presence of 5- and 6- fold aluminum coordination sites in γ-alumina could be a significant factor in the NOx reduction process. A second study examined the effect of changing the reducing agent on NOx conversion. Several hydrocarbons were examined including propene, propane, isooctane, methanol, and acetaldehyde. It is demonstrated that methanol was the most effective reducing agent of those tested for a plasma-facilitated reaction over γ-alumina.
Technical Paper

Integration of Hybrid-Electric Strategy to Enhance Clean Snowmobile Performance

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Snowmobile Team designed and constructed a hybrid-electric snowmobile for the 2005 Society of Automotive Engineers' Clean Snowmobile Challenge. Built on a 2003 cross-country touring chassis, this machine features a 784 cc fuel-injected four-stroke engine in parallel with a 48 V electric golf cart motor. The 12 kg electric motor increases powertrain torque up to 25% during acceleration and recharges the snowmobile's battery pack during steady-state operation. Air pollution from the gasoline engine is reduced to levels far below current best available technology in the snowmobile industry. The four-stroke engine's closed-loop EFI system maintains stoichiometric combustion while dual three-way catalysts reduce NOx, HC and CO emissions by up to 94% from stock. In addition to the use of three way catalysts, the fuel injection strategy has been modified to further reduce engine emissions from the levels measured in the CSC 2004 competition.
Technical Paper

Plasma-Enhanced Catalytic Reduction of NOx in Simulated Lean Exhaust

NOx reduction efficiency in simulated lean exhaust conditions has been examined for three proprietary catalyst materials using a non-thermal plasma discharge as a pretreatment stage to the catalyst. Using propene as the reducing agent for selective catalytic reduction, 74% reduction of NOx has been observed in the presence of 20 ppm SO2. For sulfur-free simulated exhaust, 84% NOx reduction has been obtained. Results show that the impact of sulfur on the samples examined can vary widely from virtually no effect (< 5%) to more than 20% loss in activity depending on the catalyst. Any loss due to sulfur poisoning appears to be irreversible according to limited measurements on poisoned catalysts exposed to sulfur-free exhaust streams. Catalysts were tested over a temperature range of 473-773K, with the highest activity observed at 773K. Examination of this large temperature window has shown that the optimum C1:NOx ratio changes with temperature.
Technical Paper

Preparation and Characterization of Nanophase Gold Catalysts for Emissions Control

Various gold catalysts were prepared using commercial and in-house fabricated advanced catalyst supports that included mesoporous silica, mesoporous alumina, sol-gel alumina, and transition metal oxides. Gold nanoparticles were loaded on the supports by co-precipitation, deposition-precipitation, ion exchange and surface functionalization techniques. The average gold particle size was ∼20nm or less. The oxidation activity of the prepared catalysts was studied using carbon monoxide and light hydrocarbons (ethylene, propylene and propane) in presence of water and CO2 and the results are presented.
Technical Paper

Three Way Catalyst Modeling with Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Kinetics for a Lean Burn Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI) Gasoline Engine

A Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) model with global TWC kinetics for lean burn DISI engines were developed and validated. The model incorporates kinetics of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide oxidations, NOx reduction, water-gas and steam reforming and oxygen storage. Ammonia (NH₃) and new nitrous oxide (N₂O) kinetics were added into the model to study NH₃ and N₂O formation in TWC systems. The model was validated over a wide range of engine operating conditions using various types of experimental data from a lean burn automotive SIDI engine. First, well-controlled time-resolved steady state data were used for calibration and initial model tests. In these steady state operations, the engine was switched between lean and rich conditions for NOx emission control. Then, the model was further validated using a large set of time-averaged steady state data. Temperature dependencies of NH₃ and N₂O kinetics in the TWC model were examined and well captured by the model.
Technical Paper

Towards Quantitative Prediction of Urea Thermo-Hydrolysis and Deposits Formation in Exhaust Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Systems

In order to assist in fast design cycle of Diesel engines selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust systems, significant endeavor is currently being made to improve numerical simulation accuracy of urea thermo-hydrolysis. In this article, the achievements of a recently developed urea semi-detailed decomposition chemical scheme are assessed using three available databases from the literature. First, evaporation and thermo-hydrolysis of urea-water solution (UWS) single-droplets hanged on a thin thermocouple ring (127 μm) as well as on a thick quartz (275 μm), have been simulated at ambient temperature conditions ranging from 473K to 773K. It has been shown that the numerical results, in terms of evaporation rate and urea gasification, as well as droplet temperature history are very close to the experiments if the heat flux coming from the droplet support is properly accounted for.
Journal Article

Impact of Biodiesel Impurities on the Performance and Durability of DOC, DPF and SCR Technologies

It is estimated that operating continuously on a B20 fuel containing the current allowable ASTM specification limits for metal impurities in biodiesel could result in a doubling of ash exposure relative to lube-oil-derived ash. The purpose of this study was to determine if a fuel containing metals at the ASTM limits could cause adverse impacts on the performance and durability of diesel emission control systems. An accelerated durability test method was developed to determine the potential impact of these biodiesel impurities. The test program included engine testing with multiple DPF substrate types as well as DOC and SCR catalysts. The results showed no significant degradation in the thermo-mechanical properties of cordierite, aluminum titanate, or silicon carbide DPFs after exposure to 150,000 mile equivalent biodiesel ash and thermal aging. However, exposure of a cordierite DPF to 435,000 mile equivalent aging resulted in a 69% decrease in the thermal shock resistance parameter.
Journal Article

New Developments in Diesel Oxidation Catalysts

A number of oxidation catalysts have been prepared using different types of advanced support materials such as ceria-zirconia, silica-titania, spinels and perovskites. Active metals such as Pd and Au-Pd were loaded by conventional impregnation techniques and/or deposition-precipitation methods. A liquid hydrocarbon delivery system was designed and implemented for the catalyst test benches in order to simulate the diesel engine exhaust environment. The activity of fresh (no degreening) catalysts was evaluated with traditional CO and light hydrocarbons (C2H4, C3H6) as well as with heavy hydrocarbons such as C10 H22.
Technical Paper

Steady-State Engine Testing of γ-Alumina Catalysts Under Plasma Assist for NOx Control in Heavy-Duty Diesel Exhaust

A slipstream of exhaust from a Caterpillar 3126B engine was diverted into a plasma-catalytic NOx control system in the space velocity range of 7,000 to 100,000 hr-1. The stream was first fed through a non-thermal plasma that was formed in a coaxial cylinder dielectric barrier discharge reactor. Plasma treated gas was then passed over a catalyst bed held at constant temperature in the range of 573 to 773 K. Catalysts examined consisted of γ-alumina, indium-doped γ-alumina, and silver-doped γ-alumina. Road and rated load conditions resulted in engine out NOx levels of 250 - 600 ppm. The effects of hydrocarbon level, catalyst temperature, and space velocity are discussed where propene and in one case ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (late cycle injection) were the reducing agents used for NOx reduction. Results showed NOx reduction in the range of 25 - 97% depending on engine operating conditions and management of the catalyst and slipstream conditions.