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Technical Paper

SCR Architectures for Low N2O Emissions

The high global warming potential of nitrous oxide (N2O) led to its inclusion in the list of regulated greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutants [1, 2]. The mitigation of N2O on aftertreatment catalysts was shown to be ineffective as its formation and decomposition temperatures do not overlap. Therefore, the root causes for N2O formation were investigated to enable the catalyst architectures and controls development for minimizing its formation. In a typical heavy-duty diesel exhaust aftertreatment system based on selective catalytic reduction of NOx by ammonia derived from urea (SCR), the main contributors to tailpipe N2O are expected to be the undesired reaction between NOx and NH3 over SCR catalyst and NH3 slip in to ammonia slip catalyst (ASC), part of which gets oxidized to N2O.
Journal Article

New Insights into Reaction Mechanism of Selective Catalytic Ammonia Oxidation Technology for Diesel Aftertreatment Applications

Mitigation of ammonia slip from SCR system is critical to meeting the evolving NH₃ emission standards, while achieving maximum NOx conversion efficiency. Ammonia slip catalysts (ASC) are expected to balance high activity, required to oxidize ammonia across a broad range of operating conditions, with high selectivity of converting NH₃ to N₂, thus avoiding such undesirable byproducts as NOx or N₂O. In this work, new insights into the behavior of an advanced ammonia slip catalyst have been developed by using accelerated progressive catalyst aging as a tool for catalyst property interrogation. The overall behavior was deconstructed to several underlying functions, and referenced to an active but non-selective NH₃ oxidation function of a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and to the highly selective but minimally active NH₃ oxidation function of an SCR catalyst.
Journal Article

Impact of Accelerated Hydrothermal Aging on Structure and Performance of Cu-SSZ-13 SCR Catalysts

In this contribution, nuanced changes of a commercial Cu-SSZ-13 catalyst with hydrothermal aging, which have not been previously reported, as well as their corresponding impact on SCR functions, are described. In particular, a sample of Cu-SSZ-13 was progressively aged between 550 to 900°C and the changes of performance in NH3 storage, oxidation functionality and NOx conversion of the catalyst were measured after hydrothermal exposure at each temperature. The catalysts thus aged were further characterized by NH3-TPD, XRD and DRIFTS techniques for structural changes. Based on the corresponding performance and structural characteristics, three different regimes of hydrothermal aging were identified, and tentatively as assigned to “mild”, “severe” and “extreme” aging. Progressive hydrothermal aging up to 750°C decreased NOx conversion to a small degree, as well as NH3 storage and oxidation functions.
Journal Article

Hydrocarbon Storage on Small-Pore Cu-Zeolite SCR Catalyst

In this study we investigated the interaction of short- and long-chain hydrocarbons (HCs), represented by propene (C₃H₆) and n-dodecane (n-C₁₂H₂₆), respectively, with a state-of-the-art small-pore Cu-Zeolite SCR catalyst. By varying HC adsorption conditions, we determined that physisorption was the primary mechanism for some minor HC storage at low temperatures (≺ 200°C), while chemical transformation was involved in more substantial HC storage at higher temperatures (200-400°C). The latter was evidenced by the oxygen-dependent and thermally activated nature of the storage process, and further confirmed by the carbon-rich composition of the deposits. The nature of HC-derived deposits of different origins and amounts was further probed using the standard SCR reaction at kinetically challenging conditions (at 200°C), as well by ammonia adsorption/desorption experiments.
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Poisoning of Cu-Zeolite SCR Catalysts

The effects of propylene (C₃H₆) and dodecane (n-C₁₂H₂₆) exposure on the NH₃-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) performance of two Cu-exchanged zeolite catalysts were investigated. The first sample was a model Cu/beta zeolite sample and the second a state-of-the-art Cu/zeolite sample, with the zeolite material characterized by relatively small pores. Overall, the state-of-the-art sample performed better than the model sample, in terms of hydrocarbon inhibition (which was reduced) and N₂O formation (less formed). The state-of-the-art sample was completely unaffected by dodecane at temperatures lower than 300°C, and only slightly inhibited (less than 5% conversion loss), for standard SCR, by C₃H₆. There was no evidence of coke formation on this catalyst with C₃H₆ exposure. The model sample was more significantly affected by hydrocarbon exposure. With C₃H₆, inhibition is associated with its partial oxidation intermediates adsorbed on the catalyst surface.
Technical Paper

Catalyst Sulfur Poisoning and Recovery Behaviors: Key for Designing Advanced Emission Control Systems

Advanced emission control systems for diesel engines usually include a combination of Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), and Ammonia Slip Catalyst (ASC). The performance of these catalysts individually, and of the aftertreatment system overall, is negatively affected by the presence of oxides of sulfur, originating from fuel and lubricant. In this paper, we illustrated some key aspects of sulfur interactions with the most commonly used types of catalysts in advanced aftertreatment systems. In particular, DOC can oxidize SO2 to SO3, collectively referred to as SOx, and store these sulfur containing species. The key functions of a DOC, such as the ability to oxidize NO and HC, are degraded upon SOx poisoning. The impact of sulfur poisoning on the catalytic functions of a DPF is qualitatively similar to DOC.
Journal Article

Axially Resolved Performance of Cu-Zeolite SCR Catalysts

In this work, an alternative method is proposed and validated for quantifying the axial performance of a state-of-the-art Cu zeolite SCR catalyst. Catalyst cores of a standard length, with varying lengths of wash-coated regions were used to axially resolve the functional performance of the SCR catalyst. This proposed method was validated by quantifying the catalyst entrance and exit effects, as well as the effect of non-uniform wash-coat loading densities. This method is less susceptible to some of the complications highlighted in the previous studies, such as flow uniformity between channels, as well as radiative heating effects, since the product gases are sampled across the entire monolith cross-section rather than through a single catalyst channel. The specific catalyst functions quantified include: NO and NH₃ oxidation, NH₃ storage capacity, as well as NOx conversion efficiency.
Technical Paper

Advanced Catalyst Solutions for Hydrocarbon Emissions Control During Rich Operation of Lean NOx Trap Systems

The operation of NOx Adsorber catalysts (NAC), also often referred to as Lean NOx Trap catalysts or NOx Storage-reduction catalysts, entails frequent periodic NOx regeneration events. These are accomplished by creating a net reducing, fuel-rich environment in the exhaust. The reduction of hydrocarbon emissions which occur during such fuel-rich events is challenging, due to the oxygen-deficient environment. In order to overcome this limitation, two possibilities exist: (i) oxygen can be stored during lean phase, to be used for hydrocarbon slip oxidation in the subsequent rich phase, or (ii) unreacted hydrocarbons can be trapped during the rich phase and oxidized during the following lean phase. In this work, two groups of catalytic solutions were developed and evaluated for hydrocarbon emission control based on these approaches: an Oxygen Storage Compound (OSC) based catalyst and zeolite-based hydrocarbon trap catalyst.