A study of pulsating flow in automotive catalyst systems

Stephen F. Benjamin, Carol A. Roberts, J. Wollin

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19 Citations (Scopus)
264 Downloads (Pure)


Conversion efficiency, durability and pressure drop of automotive exhaust catalysts are dependent on the flow distribution within the substrate. This study examines the effect of pulsating flow on the flow distribution within these systems. The flow distribution was measured for a range of flow rates at pulsation frequencies of 16, 32, 64 and 100 Hz. It was shown that the flow uniformity at 16 Hz was similar to the steady equivalent whereas improved uniformity was seen at the higher frequencies resulting in a reduced pressure drop. It was further found that flow maldistribution under pulsating conditions was less sensitive to increases in flow rate compared to steady-state flow. Downstream of the monolith strong pulses were observed although the pulse shapes changed across the substrate diameter. Flow maldistribution correlated well with a non-dimensional parameter derived from the inlet flow velocity, pulsation frequency and diffuser length.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-639
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com.


  • catalytic converters
  • vehicle emissions
  • automotive
  • flow distribution


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