EU Science Hub

Effect of selective catalytic reduction on exhaust nonvolatile particle emissions of Euro VI heavy-duty compression ignition vehicles

Abstract: 

The non-volatile Particle Number (PN) emissions of late technology diesel Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDV) are very low due to the introduction of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). Nevertheless, a large fraction (50%) of particles below the current lower regulated size (23 nm) was recently reported. Moreover, large differences between laboratory and PN Portable Emission Measurement Systems (PN-PEMS) have been observed. In order to better understand such differences, the physical properties of the exhaust aerosol from two Euro VI technology diesel heavy duty engines were studied. It was found that urea injection leads to formation of non-volatile particles. The produced particles covered a wide size range spanning from below 10 nm to above 100 nm. As such, they contribute to the regulated PN emissions, with measured concentrations corresponding to as high as 2×10^11 #/kWh over a World Harmonized Transient Cycle (WHTC). However, a large fraction of them was undetected owing to their small particle size. Low-cut off size (10 nm) Condensation Particle Counters (CPCs) (which are under discussion to be included in the regulations) measured up to twice as high concentrations. Considering the large particle losses in the sampling systems at this size range, the true concentrations can be two times higher from what the low-cut-off CPCs reported. When the temperature of the SCR system exceeded a threshold of 300°C, the produced particles were found to be positively charged, increasing the average exhaust aerosol charge up to +3 elementary charges per particle. Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) measurements of non-neutralized samples revealed that even the smallest of them can carry more than one positive charges. The findings of this study can explain the differences reported between PEMS and laboratory systems and especially those based on diffusion charging. They also provide insight for a refinement of technical requirements prescribed in the European PEMS regulation to more accurately quantify the PN emissions from such technologies.