The impact of pre-turbine catalyst placement on methane oxidation in lean-burn gas engines: An experimental and numerical study

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1019

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
Abstract The required gas temperature for complete oxidation of methane to water and CO2 over conventional exhaust catalysts is above 450°C which is higher than the exhaust gas temperature. For lean-burn turbocharged engines, a solution to this problem is positioning the catalyst upstream of the turbine to take advantage of higher temperatures closer to the engine resulting in faster kinetics over the catalyst. Pre-turbine placement of the catalyst will also result in higher pressures depending on engine design and operation point. An increase in pressure leads to a longer residence time of the exhaust gas stream inside the catalyst. Consequently, a pre-turbine catalyst placement can lead to higher conversion levels if the catalytic reaction is in the kinetically controlled regime. In this contribution, the effect of increased pressure on catalytic oxidation of methane over a commercial Pd-Pt model catalyst at 1, 2 and 4 bar was experimentally investigated on an in-house laboratory test bench. Based on the experimental results, a mathematical model was developed using global reaction kinetics. The model helps in providing a better understanding of the effect of pressure on factors affecting methane oxidation over Pd-Pt catalysts, viz. residence time, external mass transfer, and water inhibition. The numerical simulations were executed by DETCHEMCHANNEL which calculates the steady state 2-D concentration and temperature profiles of chemically reacting gas flow through a cylindrical channel using the boundary layer approximation.
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