Sensor for Directly Determining the State of a NOx Storage Catalyst
In order to control NOx reduction with NOx storing lean NOx traps (LNT), a gas sensor downstream of the LNT is presently preferred. It is a disadvantage that no means are available to gauge directly the LNT NOx loading level and the catalyst quality. The presented novel sensor consists of interdigital electrodes that are deposited on a planar substrate. On its reverse side, a temperature sensor is applied. Both sides are covered with the original catalyst coating, allowing detecting directly electrical impedance and temperature of the coating. Such sensors were integrated in different positions of an LNT. It is shown in synthetic exhausts as well as in engine tests that in-situ measurements of the electrical impedance of the LNT coating are appropriate to determine directly the catalyst status. Hence, the local degree of NOx loading as well as the local regeneration status can be measured. Furthermore, sulfur poisoning, desulfurization, and thermal ageing can be directly seen.