Investigation on the urea deposit formation and thermal decomposition characteristics in the SCR aftertreatment system of a diesel engine

Qiang Zhang , Menghan Li , Yao Zhang , Jiancheng Yang , Xiaori Liu , Zhenguo Li


Received June 01, 2020,Revised , Accepted October 19, 2020, Available online November 16, 2020

Volume 33,2021,Pages 157-171

Selective catalytic reduction is the most efficient and reliable equipment for NOx control in current diesel engines. However, the issue of urea crystallization becomes increasingly serious with the implement of the new emissions standards. In this paper, urea deposit samples collected from engine test bed and tube furnace were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis and Fourier transform-infrared analysis to aid the comprehension of urea deposit formation. Moreover, thermogravimetric tests were conducted to disclose the effects of catalyst on the thermal decomposition processes of urea deposit. The results indicated that less temperature resistant species are formed in the engine test bed than in the tube furnace at conditions with the same temperatures. The main compositions in the World Harmonized Transient Cycle (WHTC) urea deposits are urea, cyanuric acid (CYA) and ammelide, implying that accelerating the decomposition of these species could prevent the accumulation of urea deposit. CuWTi, Cuβ and CuZSM catalysts could lead to increased yield of CYA during pure urea thermolysis. Cuβ, CuWTi and VWTi catalysts tend to promote the thermolysis of CYA while VWTi has the most significant catalytic effects on the thermal decomposition of ammelide and ammeline.

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