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Use of Nitric Acid to Control the NO2:NOX Ratio Within the Exhaust Composition Transient Operation Laboratory Exhaust Stream

Southwest Research Institute-Robert Henderson, Ryan Hartley, Cary Henry
  • Technical Paper
  • 2020-01-0371
To be published on 2020-04-14 by SAE International in United States
The Exhaust Composition Transient Operation Laboratory (ECTO-Lab) is a burner system developed at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) for simulation of IC engine exhaust. The current system design requires metering and combustion of nitromethane in conjunction with the primary fuel source as the means of NOX generation. While this method affords highly tunable NOX concentrations even over transient cycles, no method is currently in place for dictating the speciation of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that constitute the NOX mixture. NOX generated through combustion of nitromethane is dominated by NO, and generally results in a NO2:NOX ratio of <5 %. Generation of any appreciable quantities of NO2 is therefore dependent on an oxidation catalyst to oxidize a fraction of the NO to NO2. Presented within this manuscript is a method for precise control of the NO2:NOX ratio within the ECTO-Lab exhaust stream by using nitric acid as the NOX precursor molecule in lieu of nitromethane. While decomposition of nitromethane generates NO as the dominate component of the NOX mixture, nitric acid decomposition produces primarily…
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Investigation into Low-Temperature Urea-Water Solution Decomposition by Addition of Titanium-Based Isocyanic Acid Hydrolysis Catalyst and Surfactant

Southwest Research Institute-Ryan Hartley, Nolan Wright, Cary Henry
University of Texas-Zachary Tonzetich
  • Technical Paper
  • 2020-01-1316
To be published on 2020-04-14 by SAE International in United States
Mitigation of urea deposit formation and improved ammonia production at low exhaust temperatures continues to be one of the most significant challenges for current generation selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment systems. Various technologies have been devised to alleviate these issues including: use of alternative reductant sources, and thermal treatment of the urea-water solution (UWS) pre-injection. The objective of this work was to expand the knowledge base of a potential third option, which entails chemical modification of UWS by addition of a titanium-based urea/isocyanic acid (HNCO) decomposition catalysts and/or surfactant to the fluid. Physical solid mixtures of urea with varying concentrations of ammonium titanyl oxalate (ATO), oxalic acid, and titanium dioxide (TiO2) were generated, and the differences in NH3 and CO2 produced upon thermal decomposition were quantified. It was found that addition of 2.0 mol % ATO to urea increased CO2 production by821 % and NH3 production by 96 % at temperatures ≤ 215 °C, indicating significantly enhanced hydrolysis of HNCO. Conversely, it was demonstrated that addition of oxalic acid or TiO2 to urea exhibited little…
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Deposit Reduction in SCR Aftertreatment Systems by Addition of Ti-Based Coordination Complex to UWS

Southwest Research Institute-Cary Henry, Scott Eakle
University of Texas-San Antonio-Ryan Hartley, Zachary Tonzetich
Published 2019-04-02 by SAE International in United States
Formation of urea-derived deposits in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment systems continues to be problematic at temperatures at and below 215 °C. Several consequences of deposit formation include: NOx and NH3 slip, exhaust flow maldistribution, increased engine backpressure, and corrosion of aftertreatment components. Numerous methods have been developed to reduce deposit formation, but to date, there has been no solution for continuous low-temperature dosing of Urea-Water Solution (UWS). This manuscript presents a novel methodology for reducing low-temperature deposit formation in SCR aftertreatment systems. The methodology described herein involves incorporation and dissolution of an HNCO hydrolysis catalyst directly into the UWS. HNCO is a transient species formed by the thermolysis of urea upon injection of UWS into the aftertreatment system. Ideally HNCO undergoes hydrolysis to form NH3 and CO2, but under certain conditions HNCO may polymerize or react with other constituents in the exhaust. Reaction of HNCO with species other than water generally results in the formation of deposits in the aftertreatment system. Addition of an HNCO hydrolysis catalyst directly into the UWS provides maximum contact…
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Ruthenium-Based Catalyst in EGR Leg of a D-EGR Engine Offers Combustion Improvements Through Selective NOX Removal

Southwest Research Institute-Gordon J. Bartley
UTSA-Zachary Tonzetich, Ryan Hartley
Published 2016-04-05 by SAE International in United States
A recent collaborative research project between Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has demonstrated that a ruthenium (Ru) catalyst is capable of converting oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions to nitrogen (N2) with high activity and selectivity. Testing was performed on coated cordierite ceramic cores using SwRI’s Universal Synthetic Gas Reactor® (USGR®). Various gas mixtures were employed, from model gas mixes to full exhaust simulant gas mixes. Activity was measured as a function of temperature, and gaseous inhibitors and promoters were identified. Different Ru supports were tested to identify ones with lowest temperature activity. A Ru catalyst can be used in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leg of a Dedicated-EGR (D-EGR) engine [1,2], where it uses carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) present in the rich gas environment to reduce NOX to N2 with 100% efficiency and close to 100% selectivity to N2. The NOX-free EGR gases can then be fed into the intake air without concerns that the NOX will lead to pre-ignition under high engine efficiency operating…
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