University of Oulu

Deactivation Correlations of Pd/Rh Three-way Catalysts Designed for Euro IV Emission Limits : effect of Ageing Atmosphere, Temperature and Time

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Author: Lassi, Ulla1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2003
Publish Date: 2003-02-28
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on February 28th, 2003, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Associate Professor Emilia Björnbom
Professor Zinfer R. Ismagilov


The aim of this thesis is the knowledge of the most relevant deactivation mechanisms of Pd/Rh three-way catalysts under different ageing conditions, the deactivation correlation of laboratory scale ageing and engine bench/vehicle ageings, and the evaluation of the deactivation correlation. In the literature review, the phenomena involved in the three-way catalyst operation and its deactivation are considered. In the experimental section, ageing-induced phenomena in the catalyst are studied and deactivation correlations between laboratory scale and engine bench/vehicle ageings are presented, based on the results of several surface characterization techniques. The effects of ageing atmosphere and temperature, and time are considered in particular.

Fresh and aged catalysts used in this study were metallic monoliths designed for Euro IV emission limits. Thermal ageings were carried out in the reductive, oxidative and inert atmospheres in the temperature range of 800°C to 1200°C, and in the presence of water vapour (hydrothermal ageing). The engine ageing was carried out in the exhaust gas stream of a V8 engine during a 40 hour period. The ageing procedure composed of rich and stoichiometric air-to-fuel ratios carried out consecutively. The vehicle ageing was accomplished under real driving conditions (100 000 kilometres).

According to the results, deactivation of a Pd/Rh monolith is a combination of several ageing phenomena. The most important deactivation mechanisms are the sintering of active phase, the collapse in surface area and ageing-induced solid-solid phase transitions in the bulk washcoat. Furthermore, poisoning is a relevant deactivation mechanism of the vehicle-aged catalyst. High ageing temperature, gas phase composition and exposure time are essential variables to the deactivation of a Pd/Rh three-way catalyst.

This thesis presents an approach to discover the deactivation correlation between the laboratory scale ageing and under the vehicle's operation in an engine bench or on-road. Based on the characterization results, the accelerated laboratory scale air ageing does not correspond to the ageing-induced changes in the catalyst under the vehicle's operation. Therefore, there is a need for a modified ageing cycle and according to the results, a deactivation correlation between the laboratory scale ageing and the engine bench ageing can be presented as a function of ageing temperature and atmosphere, and time. Instead, after the vehicle operation, the deactivation correlation cannot be presented based solely on the studied variables because, after 100 000 kilometres of driving, the role of poisoning should be taken into account in the ageing cycle.

The results of this thesis can be utilized and applied in the development of laboratory scale ageing cycles, which corresponds closely to the ageing-induced changes in the catalyst during the vehicle operation. This enables a rather fast testing of the catalyst's performance and reduces the cost during the manufacturing of catalysts.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-6954-3
ISBN Print: 951-42-6953-5
Issue: 180
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2003. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.