Investigating Urea Vaporization in a Controlled Environment Using Infrared Thermography

University essay from KTH/Skolan för kemivetenskap (CHE)

Author: Henrik Grimler; [2015]

Keywords: AdBlue; Infrared; Film; Evaporation; Deposits;


As the emission legislation becomes more stringent, higher demands are put on the aftertreatment system in trucks. For dealing with nitrous oxides, AdBlue® (urea–water solution) is injected into the exhausts which evaporates and reduces nitrous oxides to nitrogen. At low exhaust temperatures, it is more difficult to evaporate the injected AdBlue® as the exhausts contain less energy. The injected solution may instead form a wall film. In this wall film, side reactions can occur which leads to the formation of deposits.

This thesis aims at understanding how and when wall films and deposits are formed. To achieve this, a test rig that allowed visual and infrared observations of the process and variation of governing properties was designed and built.

The results show that thicker plates can sustain higher dosages than thinner plates since the temperature drop and film area are smaller for the thicker plate. It was also observed that at plate temperatures >340 °C, the water in the impacting spray evaporated, leaving a urea dust in the gas phase.

It is also clear that deposits form faster at higher gas temperatures (> 350 °C) compared to at lower temperatures (200–250 °C). The deposits form at the edge of the wall film in a region with a temperature higher than in the middle of the wall film. At lower temperatures, a wall film that spreads out over a very large area is formed and after a longer time period, deposits form at obstacles and at the wall film edge. Experiments for 2 h at lower temperatures left approximately the same amount of deposits as experiments for 30 min at higher temperatures.

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