This paper presents an ammonia surface coverage ratio control approach based on the backstepping concept for diesel engine selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. SCR models with multiple cells connected in cascade provide more accurate representations of the actual SCR system dynamics by considering the spatial distribution. Control of SCR system ammonia coverage ratio is critically important and effective in terms of ensuring low tailpipe NOx and ammonia emissions. However, such a task is also very challenging primarily due to the nonlinearities of the SCR dynamics and limited ammonia injection control authority. Grounded in the understanding of the SCR nonlinear dynamic characteristics, a backstepping-based nonlinear control law is then proposed to regulate the ammonia surface coverage ratio of the last SCR cell in order to tightly control the tailpipe NOx and ammonia emissions. Lyapunov-based analyses show the stability of the designed control law. FTP75 test cycle simulation results based on a full-vehicle (including engine, chassis, and aftertreatment systems) model illustrated that, compared with a conventional PID controller, the nonlinear backstepping control law can more appropriately handle the SCR system dynamics and exhibits superior ammonia coverage ratio control capability.

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