Experimental investigation of emission from a light duty diesel engine utilizing urea spray SCR system

  • Noreffendy Tamaldin

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Stringent pollutant regulations on diesel-powered vehicles have resulted in the development of new technologies to reduce emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx). The urea Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) system and Lean NOx Trap (LNT) have become the two promising solutions to this problem. Whilst the LNT results in a fuel penalty due to periodic regeneration, the SCR system with aqueous urea solution or ammonia gas reductants could provide a better solution with higher NOx reduction efficiency.

    This thesis describes an experimental investigation which has been designed for comparing the effect NOx abatement of a SCR system with AdBlue urea spray and ammonia gas at 5% and 4% concentration. For this study, a SCR exhaust system comprising of a diesel particulate filter (DPF), a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and SCR catalysts was tested on a steady state, direct injection 1998 cc diesel engine. It featured an expansion can, nozzle and diffuser arrangement for a controlled flow profile for CFD model validation. Four different lengths of SCR catalyst were tested for a space velocity study. Chemiluminescence (CLD) based ammonia analysers have been used to provide high resolution NO, NO2 and NH3 measurements across the SCR exhaust system. By measuring at the exit of the SCR bricks, the NO and NO2 profiles within the bricks were found. Comparison of the measurements between spray and gas lead to insights of the behaviour of the droplets upstream and within the SCR bricks.

    From the analysis, it was deduced that around half to three quarters of the droplets from the urea spray remain unconverted at the entry of the first SCR brick. Approximately 200 ppm of potential ammonia was released from the urea spray in the first SCR brick to react with NOx. The analysis also shows between 10 to 100 ppm of potential ammonia survived through the first brick in droplet form for cases from NOx-matched spray input to excess spray. Measurements show NOx reduction was complete after the second SCR bricks. Experimental and CFD prediction showed breakthrough of all species for the short brick with gas injection due to the high space velocity. The long brick gas cases predictions gave reasonable agreement with experimental results. NO2 conversion efficiency was found higher than NO which contradicts with the fast SCR reaction kinetics.

    Transient response was observed in both cases during the NOx reduction, ammonia absorption and desorption process. From the transient analysis an estimate of the ammonia storage capacity of the bricks was derived. The amount of ammonia slippage was obtained through numerical integration of the ammonia slippage curve using an excel spreadsheet. Comparing the time constant for the spray and gas cases, showed a slightly faster time response from the gas for both NOx reduction and ammonia slippage.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SponsorsMinistry of Higher Education, Malaysia
    SupervisorStephen Benjamin (Supervisor)


    • vehicle emissions
    • diesel-powered engines
    • selective catalyst reduction (SCR)
    • urea spray

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