Variations in diesel soot reactivity along the exhaust after-treatment system, based on the morphology and nanostructure of primary soot particles

Research Division Biology and Chemistry (BIO), Surface Chemistry Group, Head Markus Ammann.

Averaged NEXAFS spectra of soot from different sites of the exhaust after- treatment stream.

The reactivity of soot at different sites of the exhaust after-treatment system of a diesel engine (upstream and downstream of the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), downstream of the diesel particulate filter (DPF), as well as inside the DPF) was investigated on the basis of morphology and structure of primary soot particles by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The results indicate that combustion-formed soot particles are susceptible to further transformations of their morphology within the exhaust system. The same primary soot particles can possess both oxidation-promoting and oxidation-inhibiting morphological features, the particle cores being highly reactive. Most reactivity-promoting features are encountered in pre-DOC and post-DOC primary particles, suggesting that soot can be more easily oxidised before it enters the DPF. The residence time of soot in the DPF contributes to modification of its reactivity by affecting size distribution and nanostructure of primary particles. Partial NO2 oxidation and high temperatures during active regeneration modify the morphology of outer particle shells, thus rendering post-DOC and post-DPF primary soot particles less reactive in this respect. Primary soot particles that pass through the DPF and reach the atmosphere are characterised by the highest graphitisation degree and sizes larger than those entering the DPF. Complementary Near-Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) analyses proved not as relevant regarding soot reactivity but indicate higher chemical inhomogeneity of pre-DOC than of post-DOC and post-DPF soot and high contents of carboxyl carbon in post-DPF particles.

Citation: A. Liati, P. Dimopoulos Eggenschwiler, D. Schreiber, V. Zelenay and M. Ammann, Combustion and Flame, in press (2012)


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