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Use of a µ-Scale Synthetic Gas Bench for Direct Comparison of Urea-SCR and NH3-SCR Reactions over an Oxide Based Powdered Catalyst

Institut de Chimie des Milieux et des Matériaux de Poitiers (IC2MP), UMR 7285 CNRS-Université de Poitiers, Bâtiment B27, 4 rue Michel Brunet, 86073 Poitiers Cedex 9
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jae-Soon Choi
Catalysts 2015, 5(3), 1535-1553;
Received: 8 July 2015 / Revised: 25 August 2015 / Accepted: 28 August 2015 / Published: 4 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Automotive Emission Control Catalysts)
PDF [834 KB, uploaded 4 September 2015]


The selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx by NH3 has been extensively studied in the literature, mainly because of its high potential to remediate the pollution of diesel exhaust gases. The implementation of the NH3-SCR process into passenger cars requires the use of an ammonia precursor, provided by a urea aqueous solution in the conventional process. Although the thermal decomposition and hydrolysis mechanisms of urea are well documented in the literature, the influence of the direct use of urea on the NOx reduction over SCR catalysts may be problematic. With the aim to evaluate prototype powdered catalysts, a specific synthetic gas bench adjusted to powdered material was developed, allowing the use of NH3 or urea as reductant for direct comparison. The design of the experimental setup allows vaporization of liquid urea at 200 °C under 10 bar using an HPLC pump and a micro injector of 50 μm diameter. This work presents the experimental setup of the catalytic test and some remarkable catalytic results towards further development of new catalytic formulations specifically dedicated to urea-SCR. Indeed, a possible divergence in terms of DeNOx efficiency is evidenced depending on the nature of the reductant, NH3 or urea solution. Particularly, the evaluated catalyst may not allow an optimal NOx conversion because of a lack in ammonia availability when the urea residence time is shortened. This is attributed to insufficient activity of isocyanic acid (HNCO) hydrolysis, which can be improved by addition upstream of an active solid for the hydrolysis reaction such as ZrO2. Thus, this µ-scale synthetic gas bench adjusted to powdered materials enables the specific behaviour of urea use for NOx reduction to be demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: urea; SCR; NH3; residence time; NOx reduction urea; SCR; NH3; residence time; NOx reduction

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Seneque, M.; Can, F.; Duprez, D.; Courtois, X. Use of a µ-Scale Synthetic Gas Bench for Direct Comparison of Urea-SCR and NH3-SCR Reactions over an Oxide Based Powdered Catalyst. Catalysts 2015, 5, 1535-1553.

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