Passive selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems have been considered as a promising technology for reducing NOx emissions for highly-efficient lean burn gasoline engines. Since passive SCR requires intermittent rich operation for self-generating ammonia (NH3) for NOx reduction in the lean phase, the fuel penalty associated with NH3 generation may be significant. To address this issue, a new prototype passive SCR system with NOx storage capability was recently investigated. The three-way catalyst (TWC) with added NOx storage capability is able to enhance NH3 production rate by utilizing pre-stored NOx and thus reduce the fuel cost related to NH3 production. The main purpose of this study is to reduce the ammonia generation cost by: 1) proposing a new passive SCR system architecture that includes two TWC stages; and 2) developing and optimizing a novel non-uniform cylinder-to-cylinder combustion (NUCCC) control. Optimization results based on the experimental data from a physical engine platform, demonstrate that the new passive SCR system (with NOx storage components on TWCs), in conjunction with optimized NUCCC control, is capable of reducing ammonia specific fuel consumption (ASFC) by 30.2%, when compared to a uniform cylinder-to-cylinder combustion (UCCC)-controlled baseline passive SCR system. Such a novel NUCCC control and innovative passive SCR configuration, will be very instrumental in creating cost-effective lean NOx emission control solutions for lean-burn engines in the future.

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