Control of NOx emissions from diesel engines using exhaust gas re-circulation
The diesel engine currently accounts for 32 per cent of the new passenger car sales in Europe. In the US, diesel-power is responsible for 94 per cent of all freight movement. Comparing European Stage III standard petrol and diesel passenger car emissions, diesel NOx emissions are still considered a concern. This thesis investigates the mechanisms by which oxides of nitrogen are formed during diesel combustion. It reviews the current methods of controlling NOx emissions, such as retarding fuel injection timing, exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR), water injection and exhaust after-treatment. Modelling using a phenomenological model, is used to demonstrate the extended Zeldovich mechanism and formation trends, the effects of EGR and the significance of the Zeldovich mechanism rate constants. Modified Zeldovich rate constants are proposed to improve the correlation to measured data. Clearly, EGR is currently the most effective method of reducing NOx emissions from passenger car diesel engines. The way EGR works in suppressing NOx formation is reviewed in detail. Experimentation on a 1.8 litre inline 4-cylinder 4-valve per cylinder DI diesel with a variable nozzle turbine (VNT) turbocharger was used to demonstrate the concept of "additional" EGR on this small automotive engine. "Additional" EGR is the concept whereby a proportion of the EGR is added to the total charge, so that the volumetric efficiency increases as EGR is introduced. By using "additional" EGR, the benefits of lower NOx emissions combined with reduced particulates emissions and improved fuel consumption were clearly demonstrated at two test conditions. The reasons for achieving lower NOx emissions when using a VNT turbocharger and EGR have been explained. Finally, several methods of calculating EGR proportion were used and compared against true mass flow. The use of a CO2 balance was found to be the most accurate method.