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


John H Johnson


A diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) with a catalyzed diesel particulate filter (CPF) is an effective exhaust aftertreatment device that reduces particulate emissions from diesel engines, and properly designed DOC-CPF systems provide passive regeneration of the filter by the oxidation of PM via thermal and NO2/temperature-assisted means under various vehicle duty cycles. However, controlling the backpressure on engines caused by the addition of the CPF to the exhaust system requires a good understanding of the filtration and oxidation processes taking place inside the filter as the deposition and oxidation of solid particulate matter (PM) change as functions of loading time.

In order to understand the solid PM loading characteristics in the CPF, an experimental and modeling study was conducted using emissions data measured from the exhaust of a John Deere 6.8 liter, turbocharged and after-cooled engine with a low-pressure loop EGR system and a DOC-CPF system (or a CCRT® - Catalyzed Continuously Regenerating Trap®, as named by Johnson Matthey) in the exhaust system. A series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of the DOC-only, CPF-only and DOC-CPF configurations at two engine speeds (2200 and 1650 rpm) and various loads on the engine ranging from 5 to 100% of maximum torque at both speeds. Pressure drop across the DOC and CPF, mass deposited in the CPF at the end of loading, upstream and downstream gaseous and particulate emissions, and particle size distributions were measured at different times during the experiments to characterize the pressure drop and filtration efficiency of the DOCCPF system as functions of loading time.

Pressure drop characteristics measured experimentally across the DOC-CPF system showed a distinct deep-bed filtration region characterized by a non-linear pressure drop rise, followed by a transition region, and then by a cake-filtration region with steadily increasing pressure drop with loading time at engine load cases with CPF inlet temperatures less than 325 °C. At the engine load cases with CPF inlet temperatures greater than 360 °C, the deep-bed filtration region had a steep rise in pressure drop followed by a decrease in pressure drop (due to wall PM oxidation) in the cake filtration region. Filtration efficiencies observed during PM cake filtration were greater than 90% in all engine load cases.

Two computer models, i.e., the MTU 1-D DOC model and the MTU 1-D 2-layer CPF model were developed and/or improved from existing models as part of this research and calibrated using the data obtained from these experiments. The 1-D DOC model employs a three-way catalytic reaction scheme for CO, HC and NO oxidation, and is used to predict CO, HC, NO and NO2 concentrations downstream of the DOC. Calibration results from the 1-D DOC model to experimental data at 2200 and 1650 rpm are presented. The 1-D 2-layer CPF model uses a ‘2-filters in series approach’ for filtration, PM deposition and oxidation in the PM cake and substrate wall via thermal (O2) and NO2/temperature-assisted mechanisms, and production of NO2 as the exhaust gas mixture passes through the CPF catalyst washcoat. Calibration results from the 1-D 2-layer CPF model to experimental data at 2200 rpm are presented. Comparisons of filtration and oxidation behavior of the CPF at sample load-cases in both configurations are also presented. The input parameters and selected results are also compared with a similar research work with an earlier version of the CCRT®, to compare and explain differences in the fundamental behavior of the CCRT® used in these two research studies.

An analysis of the results from the calibrated CPF model suggests that pressure drop across the CPF depends mainly on PM loading and oxidation in the substrate wall, and also that the substrate wall initiates PM filtration and helps in forming a PM cake layer on the wall. After formation of the PM cake layer of about 1-2 µm on the wall, the PM cake becomes the primary filter and performs 98-99% of PM filtration. In all load cases, most of PM mass deposited was in the PM cake layer, and PM oxidation in the PM cake layer accounted for 95-99% of total PM mass oxidized during loading. Overall PM oxidation efficiency of the DOC-CPF device increased with increasing CPF inlet temperatures and NO2 flow rates, and was higher in the CCRT® configuration compared to the CPF-only configuration due to higher CPF inlet NO2 concentrations. Filtration efficiencies greater than 90% were observed within 90-100 minutes of loading time (starting with a clean filter) in all load cases, due to the fact that the PM cake on the substrate wall forms a very efficient filter. A good strategy for maintaining high filtration efficiency and low pressure drop of the device while performing active regeneration would be to clean the PM cake filter partially (i.e., by retaining a cake layer of 1-2 µm thickness on the substrate wall) and to completely oxidize the PM deposited in the substrate wall. The data presented support this strategy.