Bartley, G., Tonzetich, Z., and Hartley, R., "Ruthenium-Based Catalyst in EGR Leg of a D-EGR Engine Offers Combustion Improvements Through Selective NOX Removal," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0952, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0952.
A recent collaborative research project between Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has demonstrated that a ruthenium (Ru) catalyst is capable of converting oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions to nitrogen (N2) with high activity and selectivity. Testing was performed on coated cordierite ceramic cores using SwRI’s Universal Synthetic Gas Reactor® (USGR®). Various gas mixtures were employed, from model gas mixes to full exhaust simulant gas mixes. Activity was measured as a function of temperature, and gaseous inhibitors and promoters were identified. Different Ru supports were tested to identify ones with lowest temperature activity. A Ru catalyst can be used in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leg of a Dedicated-EGR (D-EGR) engine [1,2], where it uses carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) present in the rich gas environment to reduce NOX to N2 with 100% efficiency and close to 100% selectivity to N2. The NOX-free EGR gases can then be fed into the intake air without concerns that the NOX will lead to pre-ignition under high engine efficiency operating conditions. This catalysis may find application in other rich-burn and reducing gas mixture environments.