Lean-burn gasoline engines have demonstrated 10–20% engine efficiency gain over stoichiometric engines and are widely considered as a promising technology for meeting the 54.5 miles-per-gallon (mpg) Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard by 2025. Nevertheless, NOx emissions control for lean-burn gasoline for meeting the stringent EPA Tier 3 emission standards has been one of the main challenges towards the commercialization of highly-efficient lean-burn gasoline engines in the United States. Passive selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, which consist of a three-way catalyst and SCR, have demonstrated great potentials of effectively reducing NOx emissions for lean gasoline engines but may cause significant fuel penalty due to ammonia generation via rich engine combustion. The purpose of this study is to develop a model-predictive control (MPC) scheme for a lean-burn gasoline engine coupled with a passive SCR system to minimize the fuel penalty associated with passive SCR operation while satisfying stringent NOx and NH3 emissions requirements. Simulation results demonstrate that the MPC-based control can reduce the fuel penalty by 47.7% in a simulated US06 cycle and 32.0% in a simulated UDDS cycle, compared to the baseline control, while achieving over 96% deNOx efficiency and less than 15 ppm tailpipe ammonia slip. The proposed MPC control can potentially enable high engine efficiency gain for highly-efficient lean-burn gasoline engine while meeting the stringent EPA Tier 3 emission standards.

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