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Interpreting the Lambda Sensor Output Signal to Control Emissions From Natural Gas Fueled Engines

[+] Author Affiliations
Mohamed Toema, Kirby S. Chapman

Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Paper No. ICEF2010-35164, pp. 563-575; 13 pages
  • ASME 2010 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference
  • ASME 2010 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, September 12–15, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Internal Combustion Engine Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4944-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3882-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This paper presents the work done to date on a modeling study of the Non-Selective Catalytic Reduction (NSCR) system. Several recent experimental studies indicate that the voltage signal from the heated exhaust gas oxygen sensor commonly used to control these emission reduction systems may not be interpreted correctly because of the physical nature in the way the sensor senses the exhaust gas concentration. While the current signal interpretation may be satisfactory for modest NOX and CO reduction, an improved understanding of the signal is necessary to achieve consistently low NOX and CO emission levels. The increasingly strict emission regulations may require implementing NSCR as a promising emission control technology for stationary spark ignition engines. Many recent experimental investigations that used NSCR systems for stationary natural gas fueled engines showed that NSCR systems were unable to consistently control the emissions level below the compliance limits. Modeling of NSCR components to better understand, and then exploit, the underlying physical processes that occur in the lambda sensor and the catalyst media is now considered an essential step toward improving NSCR system performance. This paper focuses only on the lambda sensor that provides feedback to the air-to-fuel ratio controller. The goals of this modeling study are: • Improve the understanding of the transport phenomena and electrochemical processes that occur within the sensor. • Investigate the cross-sensitivity of exhaust gases from natural gas fueled engines on the sensor performance. • Serve as a tool for improving NSCR control strategies. This model simulates the output from a planar switch type lambda sensor. The model consists of three modules. The first module models the multi-component mass transport through the sensor protective layer. A one dimensional mass conservation equation is used for each exhaust gas species. Diffusion fluxes are calculated using the Maxwell-Stefan equation. The second module includes all the surface catalytic reactions that take place on the sensor platinum electrodes. All kinetic reactions are modeled based on the Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetic mechanism. The third module is responsible for simulating the reactions that occur on the electrolyte material and determining the sensor output voltage. The details of these three modules as well as a parametric study that investigates the sensitivity of the output voltage signal to various exhaust gas parameters is provided in the paper.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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