Ball, D., Lewis, D., Moser, D., and Nipunage, S., "The Impact of Fuel Sulfur and Catalyst PGM Loadings on the Emissions of a PZEV 4 Cylinder Vehicle," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-2404, 2017.
Federal Test Procedure (FTP) emissions were measured on a 2009 4 cylinder 2.4L Malibu PZEV vehicle with 10 and 30ppm sulfur fuel while varying the PGM (Platinum Group Metals) of the close-coupled and underfloor converters. Base CARB PH-III certification fuel was used. Three consecutive FTPs were used to measure the impact of fuel sulfur and catalyst PGM loading combinations. In general, reducing fuel sulfur and increasing catalyst PGM loadings, decrease FTP emissions. Increasing Pd concentrations can mitigate the impact of higher fuel sulfur concentrations. The results also suggest that a 50% reduction in PGM can be achieved with a reduction in fuel sulfur from 30 to 10 ppm. On average, NMHC, CO and NOx emissions were reduced by 12, 49 and 64%, respectively with the 10 ppm sulfur fuel. In addition, HC and NOx vehicle emission variability were reduced by 74 and 57% with the 10 ppm sulfur fuel. Regardless of what fuel sulfur concentration, PGM placement is critical to achieve low emissions at the best PGM cost. However, to achieve the lowest emissions at the best PGM cost, low sulfur fuel is required.