Natural Gas Engine Emission Reduction by Catalysts


In order to meet stringent emission limits, after-treatment systems are increasingly utilized in natural gas engine applications. In this work, two catalyst systems were studied in order to clarify how the catalysts affect, e.g. hydrocarbons, NO x and particles present in natural gas engine exhaust. A passenger car engine modified to run with natural gas was used in a research facility with possibilities to modify the exhaust gas properties. High NO x reductions were observed when using selective catalytic reduction, although a clear decrease in the NO x reduction was recorded at higher temperatures. The relatively fresh methane oxidation catalyst was found to reach reductions greater than 50% when the exhaust temperature and the catalyst size were sufficient. Both the studied catalyst systems were found to have a significant effect on particulate emissions. The observed particle mass reduction was found to be due to a decrease in the amount of organics passing over the catalyst. However, especially at high exhaust temperatures, high nanoparticle concentrations were observed downstream of the catalysts together with higher sulphate concentrations in particles. This study contributes to understanding emissions from future natural gas engine applications with catalysts in use.

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The study was conducted in a research project funded by Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and industrial partners: Wärtsilä Finland, Dinex Ecocat, Dekati, Neste, Suomi Analytics and AGCO Power. Sanna Saarikoski acknowledges the Academy of Finland (grant no. 259016). Jenni Alanen acknowledges Gasum kaasurahasto for financial support. The authors also thank Pekka Piimäkorpi at VTT for his contribution to the emission measurements and analyses.

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Correspondence to Kati Lehtoranta.

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Lehtoranta, K., Murtonen, T., Vesala, H. et al. Natural Gas Engine Emission Reduction by Catalysts. Emiss. Control Sci. Technol. 3, 142–152 (2017).

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  • Natural Gas
  • Engine emissions
  • Methane oxidation
  • NO x reduction
  • Nanoparticles