The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system has been widely used in the automotive and heavy-duty trucks to reduce NOx, SOx, and other controlled emissions. A liquid-cooled or air-cooled heat exchanger is the main constituent of the EGR system. The heat exchanger decreases the temperature of the exhaust gases mixture that flows through the EGR channels and the lower temperatures reduce the content of the controlled gas emissions. Condensation of water vapor is an undesirable by-product of the EGR systems because, in combination with the emission gases, it forms the corrosive sulfuric and nitric acids. The U.S. EPA has suggested that engine makers should turn off their EGR systems periodically to avoid the formation of the corrosive sulfuric and nitric acids. In order to accurately predict the corrosion process, a condensation model has been developed to investigate the rates of formation and diffusion of nitric acid and sulfuric acid to the cold tube surface. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation has been conducted for a typical EGR cooler during normal operating conditions of Tier 4 heavy-duty trucks. A lumped, 1D heat and mass transfer model has also been developed to study the most important physical aspects of the condensation process. The CFD and the analytical results of the rate of condensation and local fluid properties are an important and inexpensive complement to more expensive experimental measurements and testing. Such models may be used to improve the design and to optimize the operating conditions of the EGR systems and may become valuable tools in the design and manufacturing of the next generation of EGR systems for diesel engines. The model developed is general and the techniques and numerical results of this study may be extended to engine reliability, corrosion reduction, and damage prevention of other industrial engines.

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