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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.
Technical Paper

Loading and Regeneration Analysis of a Diesel Particulate Filter with a Radio Frequency-Based Sensor

Accurate knowledge of diesel particulate filter (DPF) particulate matter (PM) loading is critical for robust and efficient operation of the combined engine-exhaust aftertreatment system. Furthermore, upcoming on-board diagnostics regulations require on-board technologies to evaluate the status of the DPF. This work describes the application of radio frequency (RF) - based sensing techniques to accurately measure DPF particulate matter levels. A 1.9L GM turbo diesel engine and a DPF with an RF-sensor were studied. Direct comparisons between the RF measurement and conventional pressure-based methods were made. Further analysis of the particulate matter loading rates was obtained with a mass-based total PM emission measurement instrument (TEOM) and DPF gravimetric measurements.
Journal Article

Characteristics and Effects of Lubricant Additive Chemistry on Ash Properties Impacting Diesel Particulate Filter Service Life

Ash accumulation in diesel particulate filters, mostly from essential lubricant additives, decreases the filter's soot storage capacity, adversely affects fuel economy, and negatively impacts the filter's service life. While the adverse effects of ash accumulation on DPF performance are well known, the underlying mechanisms controlling these effects are not. To address these issues, results of detailed measurements with specially formulated lubricants, correlating ash properties to individual lubricant additives and their effects on DPF pressure drop, are presented. Investigations using the specially-formulated lubricants showed ash consisting primarily of calcium sulfates to exhibit significantly increased flow resistance as opposed to ash primarily composed of zinc phosphates. Furthermore, ash accumulated along the filer walls was found to be packed approximately 25% denser than ash accumulated in the channel end-plugs.
Journal Article

Ash Permeability Determination in the Diesel Particulate Filter from Ultra-High Resolution 3D X-Ray Imaging and Image-Based Direct Numerical Simulations

Diesel engine exhaust aftertreatment components, especially the diesel particulate filter (DPF), are subject to various modes of degradation over their lifetimes. One particular adverse effect on the DPF is the significant rise in pressure drop due to the accumulation of engine lubricant-derived ash which coats the inlet channel walls effectively decreasing the permeability of the filter. The decreased permeability due to ash in the DPF can result in increased filter pressure drop and decreased fuel economy. A unique two-step approach, consisting of experimental measurements and direct numerical simulations using ultra-high resolution 3D imaging data, has been utilized in this study to better understand the effects of ash accumulation on engine aftertreatment component functionality.
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.