Novel Compact Aftertreatment Systems for Simultaneous Reduction of Diesel Engine NOx, PM, CO and HC Emissions

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

Diesel engine exhaust gas catalytic aftertreatment systems have become a necessity in view of the reinforcement of exhaust gas emission regulations with the rapid growth of the high efficiency, low CO2 emission diesel powered vehicles (including off-road and on-road applications). Apart from the catalyst ability to control emissions, the size of the different individual aftertreatment systems, that need to be integrated with the engine system are as important for the vehicle manufacturers in order to a) eliminate huge costs involved with the vehicles redesign and b) avoid fuel penalties. The latter are related to the increased vehicle weight and affected vehicle aerodynamics resulting from the accommodation of the aftertreatment systems (including controls). Synergies between fuels such as Biomass-to-Liquid (BTL) or Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) and engine technologies can further promote emissions reduction and advance catalytic aftertreatment technology.The proposed research is focused on the study and understanding of the principles, and the development of compact very lightweight aftertreatment systems that comprise prototype lean NOx catalysts (selective catalytic reduction - SCR, or NOx traps), continuous regenerated diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and production diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) technologies. The systems will have a size similar or smaller than a typical DPF and they will target to achieve HC, CO and particulate matter (PM) emissions reduction of >90% using a DOC and a DPF, and NOx reduction of >70% using lean NOx catalyst technology (NOx traps or a silver alumina based HC-SCR catalyst). Furthermore, the novel systems will be cost effective by replacing precious metals (precious group metals - PGM) such as Pt and Pd with base metal catalysts (such as silver) and will operate with a minimum development of a specific engine map where possible (i.e. continuous DPF regeneration and passive mode SCR operation will reduce engine map development requirements).The experimental programme is divided into three broad areas:(i) Study, design and development of silver/alumina (Ag/Al2O3) mainly based catalysts active in HC-SCR of NOx and C-containing species oxidation under different engine fuelling and operating conditions.(ii) Study of the activity and regeneration of NOx traps utilised as catalysts for NOx reduction and Soot-PM/HC/CO oxidation when coated on the DPF.(iii) Study aiming to establish the most promising new innovative approach of a catalytic system using exhaust gas from different engines under various engine operating conditions.The first two parts will provide the scientific knowledge and guidelines required for the third part, which will be the final proof of the proposed technology.The developed catalytic technologies will still be able to provide significant emission reductions when used as individual units for applications where compactness and weight may not be important (i.e. power generation).The research will be carried out by two renowned research groups in the field of internal combustion engine technologies, the University of Birmingham Future Power Systems Group and the Brunel University Centre for Advanced Powertrain and Fuels, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management. The project tasks have been planed jointly with the industrial partners in the best possible way that will allow the research to benefit from the expertise and capabilities of each academic group.

Publications

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Gill S (2011) Combustion characteristics and emissions of Fischer-Tropsch diesel fuels in IC engines in Progress in Energy and Combustion Science

 
Description A compact lightweight emissions control system was developed for modern vehicles. The system comprises lean NOx catalysts (i.e. Selective Catalytic Reduction), continuous regeneration DPFs and production diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), technologies. The system achieved HC, CO and particulate matter (PM) emissions reduction of >90% using a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and a diesel particulate filter (DPF), respectively, and NOx reduction of >70% using lean NOx catalyst technology (silver alumina based HC-SCR catalysts).
Exploitation Route Since the start of the project, the automotive industry worldwide (i.e. aftertreatemnt developers and OEMs) is working in achieving fully functioning system. However, new legislations and new engine technologies have but additional constrains on catalysts function as a results of the further reduced exhaust gas temperatures. The outcome of this work as presented in several journals and conferences, provides an understanding of the interaction between engine operating conditions, properties of fuels, catalytic materials and systems and how all those parameters can influence emissions reduction in vehicles.
Sectors Education,Environment,Transport

 
Description There is a range of findings that have been documented in Journal Publications and peer reviewed conferences. The findings have also been presented to the industrial partners supported or involved during the research. In addition the findings have been presented to other academic collaborators and industrial partners. This is amongst the first work's to present the idea of combining three catalytic technologies SCR, PDF and DOC into one compact system. Currently this system is under significant investigation worldwide by the most (if not all) OEM's but there are still challenges to overcome. The outcome of this research has also been used by other researchers to aid them with experimental studies, development studies and modelling. Findings have also been presented in lecture to BEng and MEng students.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Education,Energy,Environment,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Development of a drop-in biofuel emulsion
Amount £121,228 (GBP)
Organisation Future Blends 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description European Commission
Amount € 400,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 686086 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2020
 
Description Industrial Funding : Aftertreatment System for Natural Gas Fuelled Engines
Amount £24,000 (GBP)
Organisation Johnson Matthey 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Description Industry funded project
Amount £125,000 (GBP)
Organisation Johnson Matthey 
Department Johnson Matthey Technology Centre
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 10/2016
 
Description Industry funded project
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC 
Department Jaguar Land Rover
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2011 
End 11/2014
 
Description Industry funded project
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC 
Department Jaguar Land Rover
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2012 
End 11/2015
 
Description Interactions fuel, GDI engine and after treatment for clean and efficient powertrains
Amount £24,000 (GBP)
Organisation Johnson Matthey 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Description Wighton Fellowship
Amount £4,900 (GBP)
Organisation Association of Commonwealth Universities 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description industry funding
Amount £55,000 (GBP)
Organisation Ford Motor Company 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 02/2017 
 
Description industry funding
Amount £6,500 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 05/2015 
End 08/2015
 
Description Collaboration with HORIBA UK Limited, Research and Teaching 
Organisation Horiba
Department HORIBA MIRA
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaboration in a ~£1.7M EPSRC project. In the area of emissions analysis from modern vehicles. In addition as part of the module we are putting together hands on experience workshops, where the students learn how to design an engine test bed and use the emissions analysis equipment provided by Horiba.
Collaborator Contribution Horiba provides staff time to support the project and advice, provide emissions analysis equipment, plan and support research work and proposals.
Impact 1. Catalytic Technologies for Improved Vehicle Fuel Economy and Emissions, HORIBA Customer Event, Thursday 14th September 2017, The Belfry
Start Year 2017
 
Description Ford Motor Company 
Organisation Ford Motor Company
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Knowledge transfer from our research into their products, advice on systems they are developing.
Collaborator Contribution In kind contribution such as modern engines, engine components, other hardware for engine control, man power, advice on research guidelines
Impact - Scientific Publications - Innovate UK project (CREO) - Disciplines involved: Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Science, Physics.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Jaguar Land Rover 
Organisation Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC
Department Jaguar Land Rover
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution 1. Research and development in improving their products 2. New products 3. Patent Pending 4. Scientific and engineering advice 5. 2 Studentships from the School of Mechanical Engineering
Collaborator Contribution - Advice and access to their facilities - Guide the research - In kind contribution and cats contribution
Impact - Publications - 2 PhDs
Start Year 2010
 
Description Johnson Matthey Plc 
Organisation Johnson Matthey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research to inform the company in understanding the effect of gaseous and particulate emissions on the after treatment systems designed by the Company. Our research has helped the company to improve their products when required but also has helped them to improve their experimental facilities in developing their catalysts. Our work has also helped the company to understand how some of their catalysts are performing under realising conditions seen in an engine environment. We have generated new knowledge that transferred to the company to understand the nature of the emissions from modern engine but also from alternative sustainable fuels.
Collaborator Contribution The partner has contributed through in-kind and cash contribution to support the experimental work. They have also provided us with knowledge and advice on the catalysts and chemistry side of the project.
Impact There are several outputs that are currently in review or in preparation. So far we have published the following one. -Bogarra-Macias, M., Herreros-Arellano, J., Tsolakis, A., York, A. et al., "Reformate Exhaust Gas Recirculation (REGR) Effect on Particulate Matter (PM), Soot Oxidation and Three Way Catalyst (TWC) Performance in Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) Engines," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(1):2016, doi:10.4271/2015-01-2019. - Poster presentation with title "On-bard Reforming Effect in PM for GDI engines" that led in winning and Award for the best poster in the SAE2014 International Powertrain, Fuels&Lubricants. - Johnson Matthey Academic Conference 2014 and 2015, poster presentations - Future power train conference, Solihull February 2015, Title: Study of PM and Gaseous Emissions in GDI engine Using On-bard Reforming
Start Year 2008
 
Description Industrial Lecture to Johnson Matthey 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Three hours lecture on Internal Combustion Engines Vehicle Technologies to Scientists working in Environmental Catalysts, Batteries and Fuels design for road transport vehicles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited Workshop Emission Control Forum for Non-Road Mobile Machinery, TBM Evolution Group 7 -8 September, Frankfurt, Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Reserach work is presented in the area of catalytic technologies for emissions control. Has informed Industry and has provided knowledge that is not yet extendibly available.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://tbmgroup.eu/product/2nd-annual-emission-control-forum-for-non-road-mobile-machinery/
 
Description Radio Documentary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Radio documentary for BBC World Service, This documentary is exploring why the issues highlighted by the VW emissions scandal are so important. As part of the documentary areas such as atmospheric measurements, health impacts of emissions from road transport where covered by other scientists, I had an input on the science/technology with some ideas of what solutions may be there in the future. The VW case raises the role of catalysts, and the question of how much room for improvement, what that would take, what are the costs (in performance, as well as financial) ... so my work on catalyst and aftertreatemnt systems was to demonstrate to listeners what directions are possible.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Sky News Media Coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact TV media appearance, discussion about road transport pollution and mitigations technologies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014