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Journal Article

Understanding System- and Component-Level N2O Emissions from a Vanadium-Based Nonroad Diesel Aftertreatment System

Nitrous oxide (N2O), with a global warming potential (GWP) of 297 and an average atmospheric residence time of over 100 years, is an important greenhouse gas (GHG). In recognition of this, N2O emissions from on-highway medium- and heavy-duty diesel engines were recently regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) GHG Emission Standards. Unlike NO and NO2, collectively referred to as NOx, N2O is not a major byproduct of diesel combustion. However, N2O can be formed as a result of unselective catalytic reactions in diesel aftertreatment systems, and the mitigation of this unintended N2O formation is a topic of active research. In this study, a nonroad Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engine was equipped with a vanadium-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system. Experiments were conducted over nonroad steady and both cold and hot transient cycles (NRSC and NRTC, respectively).
Technical Paper

NO2 Formation and Mitigation in an Advanced Diesel Aftertreatment System

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is known to pose a risk to human health and contributes to the formation of ground level ozone. In recognition of its human health implications, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) set a Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 0.2 ppmv NO2 in 2012. For mobile sources, NO2 is regulated as a component of NOx (NO + NO2). In addition, the European Commission has indicated it is considering separate Euro 6 light-duty diesel and Euro VI heavy-duty diesel NO2 emissions limits likely to mitigate the formation of ground level ozone in urban areas. In this study, we conduct component-level reactor-based experiments to understand the effects that various aftertreatment catalyst technologies including diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), diesel particulate filter (DPF), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst and ammonia oxidation (AMOX) catalyst have on the formation and mitigation of NO2 emissions.
Technical Paper

Low-Temperature NH3 Storage, Isothermal Desorption, Reactive Consumption, and Thermal Release from Cu-SSZ-13 and V2O5-WO3/TiO2 Selective Catalytic Reduction Catalysts

Worldwide, regulations continue to drive reductions in brake-specific emissions of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from on-highway and nonroad diesel engines. NOx, formed as a byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas, gasoline, diesel, etc.), can be converted to dinitrogen (N2) through ammonia (NH3) selective catalytic reduction (SCR). In this study, we closely examine the low-temperature storage, isothermal desorption, reactive consumption, and thermal release of NH3 on commercial Cu-SSZ-13 and V2O5-WO3/TiO2 SCR catalysts. Catalyst core-reactor, N2 adsorption (BET) surface area, and in-situ diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (DRIFTS) experiments are utilized to investigate the fundamental chemical processes relevant to low-temperature (T < 250°C) NH3 SCR.
Journal Article

Impact of Hydrothermal Aging on the Formation and Decomposition of Ammonium Nitrate on a Cu/zeolite SCR Catalyst

Low-temperature (T ≤ 200°C) NOx conversion is receiving increasing research attention due to continued potential reductions in regulated NOx emissions from diesel engines. At these temperatures, ammonium salts (e.g., ammonium nitrate, ammonium (bi)sulfate, etc.) can form as a result of interactions between NH3 and NOx or SOx, respectively. The formation of these salts can reduce the availability of NH3 for NOx conversion, block active catalyst sites, and result in the formation of N2O, a regulated Greenhouse Gas (GHG). In this study, we investigate the effect of hydrothermal aging on the formation and decomposition of ammonium nitrate on a state-of-the-art Cu/zeolite selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst. Reactor-based constant-temperature ammonium nitrate formation, temperature programmed oxidation (TPO), and NO titration experiments are used to characterize the effect of hydrothermal aging from 600 to 950°C.
Journal Article

Impact of Hydrocarbons on the Dual (Oxidation and SCR) Functions of Ammonia Oxidation Catalysts

Ammonia oxidation (AMOX) catalysts are critical parts of most diesel aftertreatment systems around the world. These catalysts are positioned downstream of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts and remove unreacted NH3 that passes through the SCR catalyst. In many configurations, the AMOX catalyst is situated after a diesel oxidation catalyst and catalyzed diesel particulate filter that oxidize CO and hydrocarbons. However, in Euro V and proposed Tier 4 final aftertreatment architectures there is no upstream oxidation catalyst. In this study, the impact of hydrocarbons is evaluated on two different types of AMOX catalysts. One has dual washcoat layers-SCR washcoat on top of PGM washcoat-and the other has only a PGM washcoat layer. Results are presented for NH3 and hydrocarbon oxidation, NOx and N2O selectivity, and hydrocarbon storage. The AMOX findings are rationalized in terms of their impact on the individual oxidation and SCR functions.
Technical Paper

Emissions of Organic Species from a Nonroad Vanadium-Based SCR Aftertreatment System

U.S. and European nonroad diesel emissions regulations have led to the implementation of various exhaust aftertreatment solutions. One approved configuration, a vanadium-based selective catalytic reduction catalyst followed by an ammonia oxidation catalyst (V-SCR + AMOX), does not require the use of a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) or diesel particulate filter (DPF). While certification testing has shown the V-SCR + AMOX system to be capable of meeting the nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter requirements, open questions remain regarding the efficacy of this aftertreatment for volatile and nonvolatile organic emissions removal, especially since the removal of this class of compounds is generally attributed to both the DOC and DPF.
Journal Article

Development and Validation of PCDD/F Testing Approaches for Mobile Source Engines over Transient and Steady-State Cycles

Advances in aftertreatment technologies, such as Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalysts, have responded to increasingly stringent PM and NO requirements for diesel engines. Potentially viable SCR materials include copper and iron zeolite, which possess high thermal durabilities and conversion efficiencies. However, concern exists over the metal-catalyzed synthesis of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), especially since typical SCR operating temperatures overlap with optimal PCDD/F formation from the de novo and precursor mechanisms. Due to the lack of standardized testing methodology for measuring PCDD/F emissions from mobile sources, this study adapted EPA methods 0023A and TO-9A from their original applications of industrial stack and ambient air sampling.
Technical Paper

Decoupling the Interactions of Hydrocarbons and Oxides of Nitrogen Over Diesel Oxidation Catalysts

Oxidation of NO to NO₂ over a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) plays an important role in different types of aftertreatment systems, by enhancing NOx storage on adsorber catalysts, improving the NOx reduction efficiency of SCR catalysts, and enabling the passive regeneration of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). The presence of hydrocarbon (HC) species in the exhaust is known to affect the NO oxidation performance over a DOC; however, specific details of this effect, including its underlying mechanism, remain poorly understood. Two major pathways are commonly considered to be responsible for the overall effect: NO oxidation inhibition, due to the presence of HC, and the consumption of the NO₂ produced by reaction with hydrocarbons. In this work we have attempted to decouple these two pathways, by adjusting the catalyst inlet concentrations of NO and NO₂ to the thermodynamic equilibrium levels and measuring the composition changes over the catalyst in the presence of HC species.
Journal Article

Conversion of Short-Chain Alkanes by Vanadium-Based and Cu/Zeolite SCR Catalysts

The oxidation of short-chain alkanes, such as methane, ethane, and propane, from the exhaust of lean-burn natural gas and lean-burn dual-fuel (natural gas and diesel) engines poses a unique challenge to the exhaust aftertreatment community. Emissions of these species are currently regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as either methane (Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards) or non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC). However, the complete catalytic oxidation of short-chain alkanes is challenging due to their thermodynamic stability. The present study focuses on the oxidation of short-chain alkanes by vanadium-based and Cu/zeolite selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts, generally utilized to control NOx emissions from lean-burn engines. Results reveal that these catalysts are active for short-chain alkane oxidation, albeit, at conversions lower than those generally reported in the literature for Pd-based catalysts, typically used for short-chain alkane conversion.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Criteria and Organic Matter Emissions from a Nonroad Diesel Engine Equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction System

More stringent emission requirements for nonroad diesel engines both in the U.S. and Europe have spurred the development of engines and exhaust aftertreatment technologies. In this study, one such system consisting of a diesel oxidation catalyst, zeolite-based selective catalytic reduction catalyst, and an ammonia oxidation catalyst was evaluated using both nonroad transient and steady-state cycles in order to understand the emission characteristics of this configuration. Criteria pollutants were analyzed and particular attention was given to organic compound and NO2 emissions since both of these could be significantly affected by the absence of a diesel particulate filter that typically helps reduce semi-volatile and particle-phase organics and consumes NO2 via passive soot oxidation. Results are then presented on a detailed speciation of organic emissions including alkanes, cycloalkanes, aromatics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their derivatives, and hopanes and steranes.