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Journal Article

Understanding Hydrocarbon Emissions in Heavy Duty Diesel Engines Combining Experimental and Computational Methods

Fundamental understanding of the sources of fuel-derived Unburned Hydrocarbon (UHC) emissions in heavy duty diesel engines is a key piece of knowledge that impacts engine combustion system development. Current emissions regulations for hydrocarbons can be difficult to meet in-cylinder and thus after treatment technologies such as oxidation catalysts are typically used, which can be costly. In this work, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations are combined with engine experiments in an effort to build an understanding of hydrocarbon sources. In the experiments, the combustion system design was varied through injector style, injector rate shape, combustion chamber geometry, and calibration, to study the impact on UHC emissions from mixing-controlled diesel combustion.
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.
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

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

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.
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

Experimental and Simulated Results Detailing the Sensitivity of Natural Gas HCCI Engines to Fuel Composition

Natural gas quality, in terms of the volume fraction of higher hydrocarbons, strongly affects the auto-ignition characteristics of the air-fuel mixture, the engine performance and its controllability. The influence of natural gas composition on engine operation has been investigated both experimentally and through chemical kinetic based cycle simulation. A range of two component gas mixtures has been tested with methane as the base fuel. The equivalence ratio (0.3), the compression ratio (19.8), and the engine speed (1000 rpm) were held constant in order to isolate the impact of fuel autoignition chemistry. For each fuel mixture, the start of combustion was phased near top dead center (TDC) and then the inlet mixture temperature was reduced. These experimental results have been utilized as a source of data for the validation of a chemical kinetic based full-cycle simulation.
Technical Paper

Effects of Piston Crevice Flows and Lubricant Oil Vaporization on Diesel Engine Deposits

The effect of piston ring pack crevice flow and lubricant oil vaporization on heavy-duty diesel engine deposits is investigated numerically using a multidimensional CFD code, KIVA3V, coupled with Chemkin II, and computational grids that resolve part of the crevice region appropriately. Improvements have been made to the code to be able to deal with the complex geometry of the ring pack, and sub-models for the crevice flow dynamics, lubricating oil vaporization and combustion, soot formation and deposition were also added to the code. Eight parametric cases were simulated under reacting conditions using detailed chemical kinetics to determine the effects of variations of lube-oil film thickness, distribution of the oil film thickness, number of injection pulses, and the main injection timing on engine soot deposition. The results show that crevice-borne hydrocarbon species play an important role in deposit formation on crevice surfaces.