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Volume 119, 2002
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Detailed surface reaction mechanism in a three-way catalyst

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Monolithic three-way catalysts are applied to reduce the emission of combustion engines. The design of such a catalytic converter is a complex process involving the optimization of different physical and chemical parameters (in the simplest case, e.g., length, cell densities or metal coverage of the catalyst). Numerical simulation can be used as an effective tool for the investigation of the catalytic properties of a catalytic converter and for the prediction of the performance of the catalyst. To attain this goal, a two-dimensional flow-field description is coupled with a detailed surface reaction model (gas-phase reactions can be neglected in three-way catalysts). This surface reaction mechanism (with C3H6 taken as representative of unburnt hydrocarbons) was developed using sub-mechanisms recently developed for hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane oxidation, literature values for C3H6 oxidation, and estimates for the remaining unknown reactions. Results of the simulation of a monolithic single channel are used to validate the surface reaction mechanism. The performance of the catalyst was simulated under lean, nearly stoichiometric and rich conditions. For these characteristic conditions, the oxidation of propene and carbon monoxide and the reduction of NO on a typical Pt/Rh coated three-way catalyst were simulated as a function of temperature. The numerically predicted conversion data are compared with experimentally measured data. The simulation further reveals the coupling between chemical reactions and transport processes within the monolithic channel.

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Article information

01 Mar 2001
First published
18 Oct 2001

Faraday Discuss., 2002,119, 371-384
Article type

Detailed surface reaction mechanism in a three-way catalyst

D. Chatterjee, O. Deutschmann and J. Warnatz, Faraday Discuss., 2002, 119, 371
DOI: 10.1039/B101968F

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