Natural Gas Converter Performance and Durability
Natural gas-fueled vehicles impose unique requirements on exhaust aftertreatment systems. Methane conversion, which is very difficult for conventional automotive catalysts, may be required, depending on future regulatory directions. Three-way converter operating windows for simultaneous conversion of HC, CO, and NOx are considerably more narrow with gas engine exhaust. While several studies have demonstrated acceptable fresh converter performance, aged performance remains a concern. This paper presents the results of a durability study of eight catalytic converters specifically developed for natural gas engines. The converters were aged for 300 hours on a natural gas-fueled 7.0L Chevrolet engine operated at net stoichiometry. Catalyst performance was evaluated using both air/fuel traverse engine tests and FTP vehicle tests. Durability cycle severity and a comparison of results for engine and vehicle tests are discussed.