A study of the effects of NH3 maldistribution on a urea-selective catalytic reduction system

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The maldistribution of urea/NH3 at the selective catalytic reduction inlet and the resulting NH3/NOx ratio variation have been reported to have negative effects on the NOx conversion efficiency and NH3 slip in heavy-duty diesel applications. Maldistribution is caused by incomplete mixing and decomposition of the injected urea water solution within the exhaust flow in the aftertreatment system. How NH3 and the NH3/NOxratio are distributed at the selective catalytic reduction inlet in an engine aftertreatment system and how the resultant maldistribution affects the system performance and the kinetics are presented in this combined experimental and modeling study. The distribution profiles of the selective catalytic reduction inlet NH3 and NH3/NOx ratio were determined through engine experiments. The NH3 maldistribution effects on the selective catalytic reduction performance and kinetics were quantified by using a multi-channel one-dimensional model that takes into consideration the NH3 maldistribution. It was determined that the NH3maldistribution is a major factor causing the difference in catalyst performance in the engine exhaust as compared to the laboratory reactor environment, and these results explain specific differences in the model calibrations determined from the laboratory reactor and engine data. Improving the selective catalytic reduction inlet NH3 uniformity can improve the NOx conversion efficiency by up to 7% and reduce NH3 slip by 10–20 ppm. A single-channel one-dimensional selective catalytic reduction model calibrated to the engine data that accounts for the NH3 maldistribution phenomena can be applied for the development of on-board diagnostic and control strategies.

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Copyright IMechE 2014. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468087414532462

Publication Title

International Journal of Engine Research