Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Gordon G Parker


Particulate matter (PM) emissions standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have become increasingly stringent over the years. The EPA regulation for PM in heavy duty diesel engines has been reduced to 0.01 g/bhp-hr for the year 2010. Heavy duty diesel engines make use of an aftertreatment filtration device, the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). DPFs are highly efficient in filtering PM (known as soot) and are an integral part of 2010 heavy duty diesel aftertreatment system.

PM is accumulated in the DPF as the exhaust gas flows through it. This PM needs to be removed by oxidation periodically for the efficient functioning of the filter. This oxidation process is also known as regeneration. There are 2 types of regeneration processes, namely active regeneration (oxidation of PM by external means) and passive oxidation (oxidation of PM by internal means).

Active regeneration occurs typically in high temperature regions, about 500 - 600 °C, which is much higher than normal diesel exhaust temperatures. Thus, the exhaust temperature has to be raised with the help of external devices like a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) or a fuel burner. The O2 oxidizes PM producing CO2 as oxidation product.

In passive oxidation, one way of regeneration is by the use of NO2. NO2 oxidizes the PM producing NO and CO2 as oxidation products. The passive oxidation process occurs at lower temperatures (200 - 400 °C) in comparison to the active regeneration temperatures.

Generally, DPF substrate walls are washcoated with catalyst material to speed up the rate of PM oxidation. The catalyst washcoat is observed to increase the rate of PM oxidation.

The goal of this research is to develop a simple mathematical model to simulate the PM depletion during the active regeneration process in a DPF (catalyzed and non-catalyzed). A simple, zero-dimensional kinetic model was developed in MATLAB.

Experimental data required for calibration was obtained by active regeneration experiments performed on PM loaded mini DPFs in an automated flow reactor. The DPFs were loaded with PM from the exhaust of a commercial heavy duty diesel engine.

The model was calibrated to the data obtained from active regeneration experiments. Numerical gradient based optimization techniques were used to estimate the kinetic parameters of the model.