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Title: Optimisation of autoselective plasma regeneration of wall-flow diesel particulate filters
Author: Ladha, Karim S.
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2010
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The increase in number of diesel powered vehicles has led to greater concern for the effects of their exhaust emissions. Engine manufacturers must now consider using diesel particulate filters to make their engines meet the legislated limits. Diesel particulate filters can remove more than 95% of the particulates from the exhaust flow but require cleaning, known as regeneration. This thesis describes the research and optimisation of the Autoselective regeneration system for cordierite wall flow diesel particulate filters. The novel Autoselective technology uses an atmospheric pressure glow discharge plasma to selectively oxidise particulate matter (soot) trapped within the filter. The aim of this research was to produce a regeneration system that can operate under all exhaust conditions with a low energy demand and no precious metal dependence to compete with the numerous pre-existing technologies. The effect of discharge electrode type and position on regeneration performance has been investigated in terms of regeneration uniformity, power requirement and regeneration rate. The results showed that the electrode orientation had a large effect on regeneration distribution and energy demand. The electrode capacitance and breakdown voltage was shown to affect the choice of power supply circuit because not all power supply topologies were suitable for powering electrodes with >100 pF capacitance. A number of power supplies were designed and tested, a voltage driven resonant transformer type supply was shown to be optimal when used in conjunction with a swept frequency. The current and frequency ranges of electrical discharges were continuously variable, and their effect on discharge regeneration performance was studied. The results showed that the discharge frequency had no effect on the regeneration process but did affect spatial distribution. An optimised resonant transformer power supply was designed that was ideally suited for the electrodes used. A novel power modulation strategy, which used a switching frequency phase locked to the ~ iii ~ modulating frequency, was employed which extended the operating range of the discharge to below 10 mA for electrode separations > 7.5 mm. The heat flows within the filter and discharge during regeneration were analysed and the filter damage process was linked to the heat released by the discharge inside the filter wall. Other filter materials were compared based on the findings and Mullite ceramic was identified as a potentially better filter material for Autoselective regeneration. The filtration efficiency is important and was observed to be affected by the Autoselective process. The effect of the discharge on filtration efficiency was studied and the mechanism of particulate re-entrainment was identified as a combination of electrostatic and electro-acoustic forces. The Autoselective technology was successfully implemented in both flow-rig and on-engine tests. Results showed significant reduction in back-pressure for power inputs of ~ 500 W. The understanding of the Autoselective regeneration system has been improved and the research resulted in a novel method of filter regeneration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available