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Journal Article

Radio Frequency Diesel Particulate Filter Soot and Ash Level Sensors: Enabling Adaptive Controls for Heavy-Duty Diesel Applications

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) are a key component in many on- and off-road aftertreatment systems to meet increasingly stringent particle emissions limits. Efficient thermal management and regeneration control is critical for reliable and cost-effective operation of the combined engine and aftertreatment system. Conventional DPF control systems predominantly rely on a combination of filter pressure drop measurements and predictive models to indirectly estimate the soot loading state of the filter. Over time, the build-up of incombustible ash, primarily derived from metal-containing lubricant additives, accumulates in the filter to levels far exceeding the DPF's soot storage limit. The combined effects of soot and ash build-up dynamically impact the filter's pressure drop response, service life, and fuel consumption, and must be accurately accounted for in order to optimize engine and aftertreatment system performance.
Technical Paper

Particulate Filter Soot Load Measurements using Radio Frequency Sensors and Potential for Improved Filter Management

Efficient aftertreatment management requires accurate sensing of both particulate filter soot and ash levels for optimized feedback control. Currently a combination of pressure drop measurements and predictive models are used to indirectly estimate the loading state of the filter. Accurate determination of filter soot loading levels is challenging under certain operating conditions, particularly following partial regeneration events and at low flow rate (idle) conditions. This work applied radio frequency (RF)-based sensors to provide a direct measure of the particulate filter soot levels in situ. Direct measurements of the filter loading state enable advanced feedback controls to optimize the combined engine and aftertreatment system for improved DPF management. This study instrumented several cordierite and aluminum titanate diesel particulate filters with RF sensors. The systems were tested on a range of light- and heavy-duty applications, which included on- and off-road engines.
Journal Article

Lubricant-Derived Ash Impact on Gasoline Particulate Filter Performance

The increasing use of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines coupled with the implementation of new particulate matter (PM) and particle number (PN) emissions regulations requires new emissions control strategies. Gasoline particulate filters (GPFs) present one approach to reduce particle emissions. Although primarily composed of combustible material which may be removed through oxidation, particle also contains incombustible components or ash. Over the service life of the filter the accumulation of ash causes an increase in exhaust backpressure, and limits the useful life of the GPF. This study utilized an accelerated aging system to generate elevated ash levels by injecting lubricant oil with the gasoline fuel into a burner system. GPFs were aged to a series of levels representing filter life up to 150,000 miles (240,000 km). The impact of ash on the filter pressure drop and on its sensitivity to soot accumulation was investigated at specific ash levels.
Technical Paper

Influence of Material Properties and Pore Design Parameters on Non-Catalyzed Diesel Particulate Filter Performance with Ash Accumulation

Diesel particulate filters (DPF) are a common component in emission-control systems of modern clean diesel vehicles. Several DPF materials have been used in various applications. Silicone Carbide (SiC) is common for passenger vehicles because of its thermal robustness derived from its high specific gravity and heat conductivity. However, a segmented structure is required to relieve thermal stress due to SiC's higher coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). Cordierite (Cd) is a popular material for heavy-duty vehicles. Cordierite which has less mass per given volume, exhibits superior light-off performance, and is also adequate for use in larger monolith structures, due to its lower CTE. SiC and cordierite are recognized as the most prevalent DPF materials since the 2000's. The DPF traps not only combustible particles (soot) but also incombustible ash. Ash accumulates in the DPF and remains in the filter until being physically removed.
Technical Paper

Continuous Particulate Filter State of Health Monitoring Using Radio Frequency Sensing

Reliable means for on-board detection of particulate filter failures or malfunctions are needed to meet diagnostics (OBD) requirements. Detecting these failures, which result in tailpipe particulate matter (PM) emissions exceeding the OBD limit, over all operating conditions is challenging. Current approaches employ differential pressure sensors and downstream PM sensors, in combination with particulate filter and engine-out soot models. These conventional monitors typically operate over narrowly-defined time windows and do not provide a direct measure of the filter’s state of health. In contrast, radio frequency (RF) sensors, which transmit a wireless signal through the filter substrate provide a direct means for interrogating the condition of the filter itself.
Journal Article

Ash Effects on Diesel Particulate Filter Pressure Drop Sensitivity to Soot and Implications for Regeneration Frequency and DPF Control

Ash, primarily derived from diesel engine lubricants, accumulates in diesel particulate filters directly affecting the filter's pressure drop sensitivity to soot accumulation, thus impacting regeneration frequency and fuel economy. After approximately 33,000 miles of equivalent on-road aging, ash comprises more than half of the material accumulated in a typical cordierite filter. Ash accumulation reduces the effective filtration area, resulting in higher local soot loads toward the front of the filter. At a typical ash cleaning interval of 150,000 miles, ash more than doubles the filter's pressure drop sensitivity to soot, in addition to raising the pressure drop level itself. In order to evaluate the effects of lubricant-derived ash on DPF pressure drop performance, a novel accelerated ash loading system was employed to generate the ash and load the DPFs under carefully-controlled exhaust conditions.
Technical Paper

Advanced RF Particulate Filter Sensing and Controls for Efficient Aftertreatment Management and Reduced Fuel Consumption

Although designed for the purpose of reducing engine-out Particulate Matter (PM) emissions to meet or exceed mandated emissions regulations, the particulate filter also incurs a fuel economy penalty. This fuel penalty is due to the increased exhaust flow restriction attributed to the PM accumulated in the filter, in addition to fuel consumed for active regeneration. Unlike the soot which may be oxidized through the regeneration process, incombustible material or ash continues to build-up in the filter following each regeneration event. Currently pressure- and model-based controls are used to provide an indirect estimate of the loading state of the particulate filter, in order to manage the filter operation and determine when to regenerate the filter. The challenges associated with pressure- and model-based particulate filter control over real-world operating conditions are well-known.