Control of harmful hydrocarbon species in the exhaust of modern advanced GDI engines

A. O. Hasan, A. Abu-jrai, D. Turner, A. Tsolakis, H. M. Xu, S. E. Golunski, Jose Martin Herreros

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A qualitative and quantitative analysis of toxic but currently non-regulated hydrocarbon compounds ranging from C5–C11, before and after a zoned three-way catalytic converter (TWC) in a modern gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine has been studied using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The GDI engine has been operated under conventional and advanced combustion modes, which result in better fuel economy and reduced levels of NOx with respect to standard SI operation. However, these fuel-efficient conditions are more challenging for the operation of a conventional TWC, and could lead to higher level of emissions released to the environment. Lean combustion leads to the reduction in pumping losses, fuel consumption and in-cylinder emission formation rates. However, lean HCCI will lead to high levels of unburnt HCs while the presence of oxygen will lower the TWC efficiency for NOx control. The effect on the catalytic conversion of the hydrocarbon species of the addition of hydrogen upstream the catalyst has been also investigated. The highest hydrocarbon engine-out emissions were produced for HCCI engine operation at low engine load operation. The catalyst was able to remove most of the hydrocarbon species to low levels (below the permissible exposure limits) for standard and most of the advanced combustion modes, except for naphthalene (classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer) and methyl-naphthalene (which has the potential to cause lung damage). However, when hydrogen was added upstream of the catalyst, the catalyst conversion efficiency in reducing methyl-naphthalene and naphthalene was increased by approximately 21%. This results in simultaneous fuel economy and environmental benefits from the effective combination of advanced combustion and novel aftertreatment systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-217
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Early online date21 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Atmospheric Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Atmospheric Environment, [129, (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.01.033
© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Hydrogen
  • HCCI
  • Hydrocarbon speciation
  • GDI
  • Three way catalytic converter


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