(19)
(11)EP 2 570 626 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.05.2015 Bulletin 2015/20

(21)Application number: 10851411.8

(22)Date of filing:  14.05.2010
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F01N 3/08(2006.01)
B01D 53/94(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2010/058193
(87)International publication number:
WO 2011/142028 (17.11.2011 Gazette  2011/46)

(54)

EXHAUST GAS PURIFICATION APPARATUS OF AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE

ABGASREINIGUNGSSYSTEM FÜR EINEN VERBRENNUNGSMOTOR

SYSTÈME DE PURIFICATION DES GAZ D'ÉCHAPPEMENT POUR MOTEUR À COMBUSTION INTERNE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
20.03.2013 Bulletin 2013/12

(73)Proprietor: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • FUKUDA, Koichiro
    Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)
  • HIROTA, Shinya
    Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)
  • TOSHIOKA, Shunsuke
    Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)
  • HOSHI, Sakutaro
    Kariya-shi, Aichi-ken, 448-8671 (JP)

(74)Representative: Kuhnen & Wacker 
Patent- und Rechtsanwaltsbüro Prinz-Ludwig-Straße 40A
85354 Freising
85354 Freising (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
GB-A- 2 435 625
JP-A- 2009 197 728
US-A1- 2009 000 278
JP-A- 2003 293 737
JP-A- 2009 281 294
US-A1- 2010 050 614
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present invention relates to an exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0002] In a first patent document, there is disclosed that an oxidation catalyst, a reducing agent addition valve, and a selective reduction type NOx catalyst (hereinafter referred to as an SCR catalyst) are arranged in an exhaust passage of an internal combustion engine sequentially from upstream to downstream, wherein the addition of a reducing agent from the reducing agent addition valve is controlled in accordance with an amount of NOx in an exhaust gas flowing into the SCR catalyst, and the bed temperature of the SCR catalyst. In the first patent document, the use of two kinds of methods is disclosed as a method of adding the reducing agent.

    [0003] A first method thereof is one in which an amount of NOx, which is discharged from the internal combustion engine and flows into the SCR catalyst, is estimated, and an amount of reducing agent corresponding only to the amount of NOx thus estimated (for example, an equivalent ratio of 1) is added in a continuous manner. In this case, due to a response delay in control of the supply of the reducing agent, a delay until the reducing agent is hydrolyzed to NH3, and so on, it is not possible to timely deal with the case where the amount of discharge of NOx from the internal combustion engine has changed rapidly, so it is difficult to provide an appropriate amount of addition of the reducing agent. For that reason, NH3 can pass through the SCR catalyst to a downstream side thereof due to the excessive addition of the reducing agent, or a NOx purification rate can be made lower due to the shortage of addition of the reducing agent.

    [0004] A second method is one in which by making use of a function of the SCR catalyst to adsorb NH3, NH3 is caused to be beforehand adsorbed to and stored or held in the SCR catalyst within a range which does not exceed a saturated amount of adsorption, and as the NH3 held by the SCR catalyst is consumed by the reduction of NOx, an amount of reducing agent only corresponding to an amount of NH3 thus consumed is supplied. In this case, in comparison with the first method, there is no response delay, and it is easy to deal with a rapid change in the amount of NOx, so in the past, the second method has mainly been adopted. Here, in the second method, it has been considered that the amount of NH3, which is caused to be adsorbed to the SCR catalyst, is preferably as much as possible as long as it does not exceed the saturated amount of adsorption, as disclosed in a fourth patent document.

    PRIOR ART REFERENCES


    PATENT DOCUMENTS



    [0005] 

    First Patent Document: Japanese patent application laid-open No. 2008-261253

    Second Patent Document: Japanese patent application laid-open No. 2009-293444

    Third Patent Document: Japanese patent application laid-open No. 2005-226504

    Fourth Patent Document: Japanese patent application laid-open No. 2005-127256

    Fifth Patent Document: US 2009/0000 278


    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


    PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED BY THE INVENTION



    [0006] However, according to the knowledge of the present inventors, it has been found out that in cases where the NH3 required for the purification of NOx is caused to be beforehand adsorbed to the SCR catalyst and thereafter the addition of the reducing agent is stopped, the NOx purification rate becomes lower as compared with the case where the reducing agent is continuously added even if NH3 has been adsorbed.

    [0007] The present invention has been made in view of the above-mentioned circumstances, and has for its object to provide a technique which, in an exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine, can avoid a decrease in a NOx purification rate by adding a reducing agent as continuously as possible, while avoiding NH3 from passing through a selective reduction type NOx catalyst to a downstream side thereof.

    MEANS FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEMS



    [0008] In the present invention, the following construction is adopted.

    [0009] That is, the present invention resides in an exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine which comprises:

    a selective reduction type NOx catalyst that is arranged in an exhaust passage of the internal combustion engine; and

    a reducing agent addition part that is arranged in said exhaust passage at an upstream side of said selective reduction type NOx catalyst, and adds a reducing agent for supplying NH3 to said selective reduction type NOx catalyst;

    wherein said selective reduction type NOx catalyst has an active spot which purifies NOx by the use of NH3, and an adsorption site which adsorbs NH3;

    a vicinity site, which is located in the vicinity of said active spot, and a distant site, which is located distance from said active spot, exist in said adsorption site;

    said vicinity site tends to deliver NH3 to said active spot more easily than said distant site does, and the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site is faster than the desorption rate of NH3 in said distant site; and

    a control part is provided which controls the addition of the reducing agent from said reducing agent addition part based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site so as to continue to cause the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity site to exist.



    [0010] According to the knowledge of the present inventors, it has been found out that in cases where NH3 required for the purification of NOx is caused to be beforehand adsorbed to the selective reduction type NOx catalyst, and thereafter the addition of the reducing agent is stopped, the NOx purification rate becomes lower, as compared with the case where the reducing agent is added in a continuous manner, even if NH3 has been adsorbed.

    [0011] This is considered due to the following reasons. In the selective reduction type NOx catalyst, active spots which serve to purify NOx by the use of NH3 are dotted, and at the same time, adsorption sites which serve to adsorb NH3 exist. Vicinity sites in the vicinity of the active spots, among the adsorption sites, are easier to deliver NH3 to the active spots than distant sites at the distance from the active spots. For this reason, the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites due to the delivery of NH3 to the active spots is faster than the desorption rate of NH3 in the distant sites. In other words, most of the NH3 used in an active spot is that which has been adsorbed to its vicinity sites, and the NH3 adsorbed to the distant sites is difficult to be used in the active spot, and is difficult to contribute to the purification of the NOx. As a result, continuing to supply NH3 to the vicinity sites by adding the reducing agent in a continuous manner is able to purify the NOx more easily than using the NH3 adsorbed to the distant sites by causing it to be desorbed therefrom. For this reason, it is considered that the NOx purification rate becomes higher in the case of adding the reducing agent in a continuous manner than in the case of causing the NH3 required for the purification of the NOx to be beforehand adsorbed to the selective reduction type NOx catalyst, and thereafter stopping the addition of the reducing agent.

    [0012] Accordingly, in the present invention, the addition of the reducing agent from the reducing agent addition part is controlled based on the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites so as to continue to cause the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to exist. In other words, the reducing agent is continued as much as possible to be supplied from the reducing agent addition part, so that even if the vicinity sites deliver NH3 to the active spot and the NH3 is desorbed from the vicinity sites, new NH3 can be caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites immediately. According to this, NH3 is caused to continue to exist in the vicinity sites as much as possible, so the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites can always be delivered to the active spot, thereby making it possible to purify NOx. As a result, it is possible to maintain the NOx purification rate high.

    [0013] Here, in the present invention, attention is focused on the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites. The desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites is a rate from the time when NH3 is caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites until the time when the NH3 is delivered to the active spot, and it can also be said as the rate of consumption of NH3 in the vicinity sites. If the supply of NH3 is slower with respect to the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, the vicinity sites will be in a state where the NH3 is not adsorbed to the vicinity sites, so it becomes impossible to purify the NOx, resulting in a decrease in the NOx purification rate. On the other hand, if the supply of NH3 is faster with respect to the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, not only the vicinity sites but also the distant sites will adsorb the NH3, so the saturation of the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the selective reduction type NOx catalyst will be caused, thus giving rise to the passage of NH3 through to the downstream side of the selective reduction type NOx catalyst. For this reason, the reducing agent is added in consideration of the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, so that the rate of supply of NH3 becomes optimal with respect to the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, thus enabling NH3 to continue to exist in the vicinity sites.

    [0014] According to the present invention, by adding the reducing agent as continuously as possible, a decrease in the NOx purification rate can be avoided. In addition, the amount of the reducing agent to be added continuously is only an amount of addition thereof which causes the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, and the reducing agent is not added excessively, so it is also possible to avoid the NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the selective reduction type NOx catalyst.

    [0015] In addition, according to the present invention, the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites continues to exist, so a response delay in the supply control of the reducing agent, a delay until the reducing agent is hydrolyzed into NH3, and so on, can be absorbed by the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites. For this reason, even in cases where the amount of NOx discharged from the internal combustion engine has changed rapidly, appropriate measures can be taken in time, thereby making it possible to provide an optimal amount of addition of the reducing agent. As a result, it is difficult for NH3 to pass through to the downstream side of the selective reduction type NOx catalyst due to the excessive addition of the reducing agent, or a decrease in the NOx purification rate due to the shortage of addition of the reducing agent is difficult to occur.

    [0016] Preferably, said control part continues to add the reducing agent until the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst comes near its saturation.

    [0017] According to this, it is possible to maintain a high NOx purification rate by continuing to supply NH3 to the vicinity sites until the time the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the selective reduction type NOx catalyst comes near its saturation to cause a fear that the NH3 may pass through to the downstream side of the selective reduction type NOx catalyst.

    [0018] Preferably, in cases where NH3 has not been adsorbed to said vicinity sites, said control part adds the reducing agent in an amount increased from that in cases where the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist.

    [0019] According to this, in cases where NH3 has not been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, by increasing the amount of the reducing agent to be added, the hydrolyzation of the reducing agent can be facilitated to cause the vicinity sites to ensure NH3 at an early stage, thus making it possible to enhance the NOx purification rate.

    [0020] Preferably, provision is made for an addition amount calculation part that calculates, based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity sites and an amount of NOx flowing into said selective reduction type NOx catalyst, a predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, which causes the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity sites to continue to exist, of the reducing agent to be added from said reducing agent addition part,
    wherein said control part adds the reducing agent in an amount more than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where NH3 has not been adsorbed to said vicinity sites, based on the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount calculated by said addition amount calculation part, adds the reducing agent in the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist, and adds the reducing agent in an amount less than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount or stops the addition of the reducing agent in cases where the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst has come near its saturation.

    [0021] Here, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount is an amount of addition which can cause the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, while purifying NOx by the selective reduction type NOx catalyst, by taking into consideration the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites and the amount of NOx flowing into the selective reduction type NOx catalyst. For example, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount is an amount of addition of the reducing agent in which the equivalent ratio thereof, being the ratio of the amount of substance of NH3, which performs a reaction with NOx, to the amount of substance of NOx, is an equivalent ratio of around 1 or other values. The predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount may also be an amount with its equivalent ratio being relatively fixed with respect to the amount of NOx flowing into the selective reduction type NOx catalyst, or may also be an amount with its equivalent ratio being changed in accordance with situations such as the amount of NOx, the catalytic state of the catalyst, etc..

    [0022] According to this, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in which the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist is calculated, so in cases where the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist, an optimal amount of reducing agent, which is the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, can continue to be added, thus making it possible to maintain a high NOx purification rate. In addition, in cases where NH3 has not been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, by adding an amount of reducing agent more than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, NH3 can be caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites at an early stage, thus making it possible to enhance the NOx purification rate. Moreover, in cases where the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the selective reduction type NOx catalyst comes near its saturation, it is possible to maintain the NOx purification rate over a long period of time by making long the time of continuation of addition even in a small amount, rather than by continuing the addition at a predetermined equivalent ratio and stopping the addition at an early stage, as a consequence of which it is possible to avoid NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the selective reduction type NOx catalyst by adding an amount of reducing agent which is smaller than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, or by stopping the addition of the reducing agent.

    [0023] Preferably, provision is made for:

    a first NOx concentration acquisition part that acquires the concentration of NOx in an exhaust gas which flows into said selective reduction type NOx catalyst;

    a second NOx concentration acquisition part that acquires the concentration of NOx in an exhaust gas which flows out of said selective reduction type NOx catalyst;

    a NOx purification rate calculation part that calculates a NOx purification rate in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst from the NOx concentrations acquired by said first NOx concentration acquisition part and said second NOx concentration acquisition part;

    a temperature detection part that detects the temperature of said selective reduction type NOx catalyst;

    an adsorption amount estimation part that estimates the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst based on the NOx purification rate calculated by said NOx purification rate calculation part and the catalyst temperature detected by said catalyst temperature detection part; and

    an addition amount calculation part that calculates a predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, which causes the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity sites to continue to exist, of the reducing agent to be added from said reducing agent addition part, based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity sites, and an amount of NOx flowing into said selective reduction type NOx catalyst which is calculated from the NOx concentration acquired by the first NOx concentration acquisition part and an amount of air;

    wherein a first target adsorption amount, which becomes a threshold value for whether NH3 has not been adsorbed to said vicinity sites in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst or NH3 has been adsorbed to said vicinity sites, and a second target adsorption amount, which is more than the first target adsorption amount and which becomes a threshold value for whether the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst does not come near its saturation or the amount of adsorption thereof comes near its saturation, are set; and

    wherein said control part adds the reducing agent in an amount more than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by said adsorption amount estimation part is less than the first target adsorption amount, based on the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount calculated by said addition amount calculation part, adds the reducing agent in the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by said adsorption amount estimation part is equal to or more than the first target adsorption amount and is less than the second target adsorption amount, and adds the reducing agent in an amount less than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount or stops the addition of the reducing agent in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by said adsorption amount estimation part is equal to or more than the second target adsorption amount.



    [0024] According to this, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in which the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist is calculated, so in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by the adsorption amount estimation part is equal to or more than the first target adsorption amount and is less than the second target adsorption amount, i.e., the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist, an optimal amount of reducing agent, which is the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, can continue to be added, thus making it possible to maintain a high NOx purification rate. In addition, in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by the adsorption amount estimation part is less than the first target adsorption amount, i.e., NH3 has not been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, by adding an amount of reducing agent more than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, NH3 can be caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites at an early stage. Moreover, in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by the adsorption amount estimation part is equal to or more than the second target adsorption amount, i.e., the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the selective reduction type NOx catalyst has come near its saturation, it is possible to avoid NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the selective reduction type NOx catalyst by adding an amount of reducing agent which is smaller than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, or by stopping the addition of the reducing agent.

    [0025] In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a reducing agent addition method in an exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine which is provided with:

    a selective reduction type NOx catalyst that is arranged in an exhaust passage of the internal combustion engine; and

    a reducing agent addition part that is arranged in said exhaust passage at an upstream side of said selective reduction type NOx catalyst, and adds a reducing agent for supplying NH3 to said selective reduction type NOx catalyst;
    wherein

    said selective reduction type NOx catalyst has an active spot which purifies NOx by the use of NH3, and an adsorption site which adsorbs NH3;

    a vicinity site, which is located in the vicinity of said active spot, and a distant site, which is located distant from said active spot, exist in said adsorption site;

    said vicinity site tends to deliver NH3 to said active spot more easily than said distant site does, and the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site is faster than the desorption rate of NH3 in said distant site; and

    the addition of the reducing agent from said reducing agent addition part is controlled based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site so as to continue to cause the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity site to exist.



    [0026] In this invention, too, it is possible to avoid a decrease in the NOx purification rate by adding the reducing agent as continuously as possible, while avoiding NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the selective reduction type NOx catalyst.

    EFFECT OF THE INVENTION



    [0027] According to the present invention, in an exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine, it is possible to avoid a decrease in a NOx purification rate by adding a reducing agent as continuously as possible, while avoiding NH3 from passing through a selective reduction type NOx catalyst to a downstream side thereof.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0028] 

    [Fig. 1] is a view showing the schematic construction of an internal combustion engine according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

    [Fig. 2] is a view showing the relation between an amount of adsorption of NH3 in an SCR catalyst and a NOx purification rate.

    [Fig. 3] is a view showing a state in which NH3 is adsorbed to a vicinity site in the SCR catalyst.

    [Fig. 4] is a view showing a state in which NH3 is not adsorbed to the vicinity site in the SCR catalyst.

    [Fig. 5] is a view showing a control block inside an ECU according to the first embodiment.

    [Fig. 6] is a flow chart showing a urea water addition control routine according to the first embodiment.

    [Fig. 7] is a view showing urea water addition control from the relation between an SCR catalyst bed temperature and an amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst according to the first embodiment.

    [Fig. 8] is a view showing a change over time of the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst at the time of executing the urea water addition control according to the first embodiment.

    [Fig. 9] is a flow chart showing a urea water addition control routine according to another example of the first embodiment.


    BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0029] Hereinafter, a specific embodiment of the present invention will be described.

    <First Embodiment>


    (Internal Combustion Engine)



    [0030] Fig. 1 is a view showing the schematic construction of an internal combustion engine according to a first embodiment of the present invention. An internal combustion engine 1 shown in Fig. 1 is a four-stroke cycle diesel engine having four cylinders for use in driving a vehicle. An exhaust passage 2, through which an exhaust gas discharged from the internal combustion engine 1 passes, is connected to the internal combustion engine 1.

    [0031] A selective reduction type NOx catalyst (hereinafter referred to as an SCR catalyst) 3 is arranged in the middle of the exhaust passage 2. The SCR catalyst 3 serves to reduce and purify NOx in an exhaust gas by the use of NH3 (ammonia). For example, NO is reduced to N2 by a reaction such as 4NO + 4NH3 + O2 → 4N2 + 6H2O. NO2 is reduced to N2 by a reaction such as 6NO2 + 8NH3 → 7N2 + 12H2O. NO and NO2 are reduced to N2 by a reaction such as NO + NO2 + 2NH3 - 2N2 + 3H2O. In addition, the SCR catalyst 3 has a function to adsorb NH3. The SCR catalyst 3 is formed of zeolite, etc. For example, the SCR catalyst 3 formed of zeolite includes alumina which is active spots to purify NOx by the use of NH3, and silica which forms adsorption sites to adsorb NH3, at a ratio of 1:20, etc. Here, note that in the SCR catalyst 3 formed except of zeolite, too, active spots are dotted while being surrounded by a plurality of adsorption sites.

    [0032] A urea water addition valve 4, which adds a urea water solution (hereinafter referred to as urea water) as a reducing agent which is hydrolyzed into NH3 to be supplied to the SCR catalyst 3, is arranged in the exhaust passage 2 at a location upstream of the SCR catalyst 3. From the urea water addition valve 4, the urea water stored in a urea water tank 5 is injected into the exhaust passage 2 based on a command. The urea water addition valve 4 corresponds to the reducing agent addition part of the present invention. As the reducing agent, there can be used an ammonia based solution such as an ammonia aqueous solution, besides urea water.

    [0033] A first NOx sensor 6 to detect a NOx concentration in the exhaust gas flowing into the SCR catalyst 3 is arranged in the exhaust passage 2 at an immediately upstream side of the urea water addition valve 4. The first NOx sensor 6 corresponds to a first NOx concentration acquisition part of the present invention. A second NOx sensor 7 to detect a NOx concentration in the exhaust gas flowing out of the SCR catalyst 3 is arranged in the exhaust passage 2 at an immediately downstream side of the SCR catalyst 3. The second NOx sensor 7 corresponds to a second NOx concentration acquisition part of the present invention. A temperature sensor 8 to detect an SCR catalyst bed temperature is arranged in the SCR catalyst 3. The temperature sensor 8 corresponds to a catalyst temperature detection part of the present invention.

    [0034] An electronic control unit (hereinafter referred to as an ECU) 9 is provided in combination with the internal combustion engine 1 as constructed in the above-mentioned manner. The first NOx sensor 6, the second NOx sensor 7, the temperature sensor 8, an unillustrated crank position sensor, and an unillustrated accelerator opening sensor are electrically connected to the ECU 9. The output signals of these sensors are inputted to the ECU 9. In addition, the urea water addition valve 4 is electrically connected to the ECU 9, so that the urea water addition valve 4 is controlled by the ECU 9.

    (Urea Water Addition Control)



    [0035] In the past, in cases where urea water is added to the SCR catalyst 3, there have been two kinds of methods. That which has mainly been used in the past is a method in which by making use of the function of the SCR catalyst 3 to adsorb NH3, NH3 is caused to be beforehand adsorbed to and held by the SCR catalyst 3 within a range which does not exceed a saturated amount of adsorption, and as the NH3 held by the SCR catalyst is consumed by the reduction of NOx, an amount of urea water only corresponding to an amount of NH3 thus consumed is supplied.

    [0036] However, according to the knowledge of the present inventors, it has been found out that in cases where NH3 required for the purification of NOx is caused to be beforehand adsorbed to the SCR catalyst 3 according to the above-mentioned method, and thereafter the addition of the urea water is stopped, the NOx purification rate becomes lower as compared with the case where the urea water is continuously added even if NH3 has been adsorbed.

    [0037] Fig. 2 is a view showing the relation between the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 and the NOx purification rate. As shown in Fig. 2, when the amount of NH3 required for the purification of the NOx is caused to be beforehand adsorbed to the SCR catalyst 3 according to the above-mentioned method and thereafter the addition of the urea water is stopped, the NOx purification rate becomes lower than that during the addition of the urea water. That is, even if the amount of adsorption of NH3 to the SCR catalyst 3 is the same, the NOx purification rate is different between during the addition of the urea water and during the stop of the addition thereof, due to the presence of hysteresis. From the characteristics of the SCR catalyst 3 with such hysteresis, the NOx purification rate decreases in the above-mentioned method.

    [0038] This is considered due to the following reasons. In the SCR catalyst 3, active spots which serve to purify NOx by the use of NH3 are dotted, and at the same time, a plurality of adsorption sites which serve to adsorb NH3 exist in the surroundings of the active spots. Vicinity sites among the adsorption sites, which are located in the vicinity of the active spots, are easier to deliver NH3 to the active spots than distant sites which are located distant from the active spots. For this reason, the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites due to the delivery of NH3 to the active spots is faster than the desorption rate of NH3 in the distant sites. Fig. 3 is a view showing a state in which NH3 is adsorbed to vicinity sites. In other words, most of NH3 used in an active spot is that which is in a gaseous phase of the exhaust gas or has been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, wherein the NH3 which has been adsorbed to the vicinity sites is delivered to the active spot, as shown in Fig. 3, so that NOx is reduced by the NH3 in the active spot. Fig. 4 is a view showing a state in which NH3 is adsorbed to distant sites but not adsorbed to vicinity sites. The NH3 adsorbed to the distant sites is delivered to the vicinity sites when the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites runs out, as shown in Fig. 4, but such a motion is slow, and hence, it becomes unable to purify the NOx in an active spot due to the absence of NH3. In other words, the NH3 adsorbed to the distant sites is difficult to be used in the active spot, and is difficult to contribute to the purification of the NOx. As a result, continuing to supply NH3 to the vicinity sites by adding urea water in a continuous manner is able to purify the NOx more easily than using the NH3 adsorbed to the distant sites by causing it to be desorbed therefrom. For this reason, it is considered that the NOx purification rate becomes higher in the case of adding urea water in a continuous manner than in the case of causing the NH3 required for the purification of the NOx to be beforehand adsorbed to the SCR catalyst 3, and thereafter stopping the addition of urea water.

    [0039] In addition, even in cases where urea water is added continuously, if the amount of addition is smaller with respect to the amount of NOx flowing into the SCR catalyst 3, e.g., if the amount of addition is such that an equivalent ratio thereof, which is the ratio of the amount of substance of NH3 to the amount of substance of NOx, is an equivalent ratio of 0.5, the NOx purification rate becomes lower in comparison with an amount of addition at an equivalent ratio of 1. This is considered that if the amount of addition has an equivalent ratio of 0.5, it becomes impossible for the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, and it becomes insufficient for the vicinity sites to deliver NH3 to the active spot, as a result of which NH3 to reduce the NOx in the active spot is short, and the NOx purification rate becomes lower.

    [0040] Accordingly, in this embodiment, the addition of urea water from the urea water addition valve 4 is controlled based on the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites so as to continue to cause the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to exist. In other words, urea water is continued as much as possible to be supplied from the urea water addition valve 4, so that even if the vicinity sites deliver NH3 to the active spot and the NH3 is desorbed from the vicinity sites, new NH3 can be caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites immediately. According to this, NH3 is caused to continue to exist in the vicinity sites as much as possible, so the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites can always be delivered to the active spot, thereby making it possible to purify NOx. As a result, it is possible to maintain the NOx purification rate high.

    [0041] Here, in this embodiment, attention is focused on the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites. The desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites is a rate from the time when NH3 is caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites until the time when the NH3 is delivered to the active spot, and it can also be said as the rate of consumption of NH3 in the vicinity sites. If the supply of NH3 is slower with respect to the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, the vicinity sites will be in a state where NH3 is not adsorbed to the vicinity sites, so it becomes impossible to purify the NOx, resulting in a decrease in the NOx purification rate. On the other hand, if the supply of NH3 is faster with respect to the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, not only the vicinity sites but also the distant sites will adsorb NH3, so that the saturation of the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 will be caused, thus giving rise to the passage of NH3 through to the downstream side of the SCR catalyst 3. For this reason, urea water is added in consideration of the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, so that the rate of supply of NH3 becomes optimal with respect to the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, thus enabling the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, and preventing NH3 from being adsorbed to the distant sites as much as possible.

    [0042] According to this embodiment, urea water can be added as continuously as possible, so that a decrease in the NOx purification rate can be avoided. In addition, the amount of urea water to be added continuously is only an amount of addition thereof which causes the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, and the reducing agent is not added excessively, so it is also possible to avoid the NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the SCR catalyst 3.

    [0043] In addition, according to this embodiment, the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist, so temporary response delays such as a response delay in the supply control of urea water, a delay until urea water is hydrolyzed into NH3, and so on can be absorbed by the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites. For this reason, even in cases where the amount of NOx discharged from the internal combustion engine 1 has changed rapidly, appropriate measures can be taken in time, thereby making it possible to provide an optimal amount of addition of urea water. As a result, it is difficult for NH3 to pass through the SCR catalyst 3 to the downstream side thereof due to the excessive addition of urea water, or it is difficult for the NOx purification rate to be made lower due to the shortage of addition of urea water.

    [0044] Fig. 5 is a view showing a control block inside the ECU 9 according to this first embodiment. By the use of Fig. 5, reference will be made to a specific construction in which the addition of urea water from the urea water addition valve 4 is controlled based on the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites so as to continue to cause the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to exist.

    [0045] As shown in Fig. 5, the ECU 9 has a NOx purification rate calculation part 9a that calculates the NOx purification rate in the SCR catalyst 3 from the NOx concentrations acquired by the first NOx sensor 6 and the second NOx sensor 7, respectively. In addition, the ECU 9 has an adsorption amount estimation part 9b that estimates the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 based on the NOx purification rate calculated by the NOx purification rate calculation part 9a and the SCR catalyst bed temperature detected by the temperature sensor 8.

    [0046] On the other hand, the ECU 9 has an addition amount calculation part 9c that calculates a predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, which causes the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, of urea water to be added from the urea water addition valve 4, based on the amount of NOx flowing into the SCR catalyst 3 which is calculated from the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, the NOx concentration acquired by the first NOx sensor 6, and the amount of air detected by an air flow meter 10 arranged in the intake passage of the internal combustion engine 1.

    [0047] Here, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount is an amount of addition which can cause the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, while purifying the NOx by the SCR catalyst 3, by taking into consideration the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites and the amount of NOx flowing into the SCR catalyst 3. In this embodiment, the explanation will be made on the assumption that the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount is an amount of addition of urea water in which the equivalent ratio thereof, being the ratio of the amount of substance of NH3, which performs a reduction reaction with NOx, to the amount of substance of NOx, is an equivalent ratio of 1. The amount of addition of urea water with an equivalent ratio 1 is an amount thereof in which NH3 generated by hydrolysis from urea water can perform a reduction reaction with NOx at a ratio of 1 to 1. This is because the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites is assumed to be equal to the reduction rate of NOx using NH3 in the active spot.

    [0048] However, for the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites, it is possible to take into consideration an amount of adsorption of NH3 which has beforehand been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, a maximum permissible amount of adsorption of NH3 in the vicinity sites, etc., besides the reduction reaction of NOx. For this reason, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount may also be an amount of addition of urea water with an equivalent ratio, besides the equivalent ratio of 1, which is a value around the equivalent ratio of 1, or in some cases, an equivalent ratio of about 0.5, or an equivalent ratio of about 1.5. However, in the case of an amount of addition of urea water having an equivalent ratio of about 0.5, NH3 which is adsorbed to the vicinity sites may become small, resulting in a low NOx purification rate. In the case of an amount of addition of urea water having an equivalent ratio of about 1.5, the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 will be saturated at an early stage. As a result, it is preferable that the amount of addition of urea water have an equivalent ratio of around 1.

    [0049] In addition, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount of this embodiment is explained as an amount of addition of urea water with an equivalent ratio thereof being relatively fixed with respect to the amount of NOx flowing into the SCR catalyst 3, and being maintained as it is the equivalent ratio of 1. However, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount may also be an amount with an equivalent ratio being changed in accordance with situations such as the amount of NOx, the catalytic state of the SCR catalyst 3, etc., besides the amount with its equivalent ratio being relatively fixed with respect to the amount of NOx flowing into the SCR catalyst 3. For this reason, for example, the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount may be changed in accordance with the bed temperature of the SCR catalyst 3 or the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3.

    [0050] Moreover, the ECU 9 has a control part 9d that carries out urea water addition control by controlling the urea water addition valve 4 based on the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 estimated by the adsorption amount estimation part 9b, and the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount calculated by the addition amount calculation part 9c.

    [0051] Reference will be made to a urea water addition control routine carried out by the ECU 9 based on a flow chart shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 6 is the flow chart showing the urea water addition control routine. This routine is repeatedly carried out by means of the ECU at each predetermined time interval, in particular so that the addition of urea water is continued.

    [0052] When the routine shown in Fig. 6 is started, in step S101, a predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount paa is calculated by the addition amount calculation part 9c. In this embodiment, by assuming that the desorption rate of NH3 in the vicinity sites is equal to a NOx reduction reaction rate, and using the amount of NOx flowing into the SCR catalyst 3 calculated from the NOx concentration acquired by the first NOx sensor 6 and the amount of air detected by the air flow meter 10, an amount of addition of urea water becoming an equivalent ratio of 1 is calculated.

    [0053] In step S102, an amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is estimated by the adsorption amount estimation part 9b.

    [0054] In step S103, it is determined whether the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 estimated in step S102 is equal to or greater than a first target adsorption amount tnl1. The first target adsorption amount tnl1 is an amount of adsorption which becomes a threshold value for whether NH3 has not been adsorbed to vicinity sites in the SCR catalyst 3, or NH3 has been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, and it changes in accordance with the SCR catalyst bed temperature. A characteristic curve of the first target adsorption amount tnl1 can be beforehand defined as a map by experiments, verification, etc. For this reason, when processing this step, the first target adsorption amount tnl1 is derived by taking the SCR catalyst bed temperature detected by the temperature sensor 8 into the map of the characteristic curve of the first target adsorption amount tnl1.

    [0055] In step S103, in cases where a negative determination is made in which the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 thus estimated is not equal to or greater than the first target adsorption amount tnl1, the routine shifts to step S104. However, in step S103, in cases where an affirmative determination is made in which the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 thus estimated is equal to or greater than the first target adsorption amount tnl1, the routine shifts to step S105.

    [0056] In step S104, the control part 9d adds, from the urea water addition valve 4, an amount of urea water paa+ which has been increased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount. The amount of urea water paa+ here, which has been increased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, is, for example, a preset amount of addition more than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, or is increased by adding a preset amount of addition to the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount. The urea water paa+, which has been increased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, should be larger as compared with the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount for causing the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, and may not be related to the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount. In other words, the urea water paa+ may be determined without taking the equivalent ratio into consideration. According to this step, in cases where NH3 has not been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, by increasing the amount of urea water to be added, NH3 can be caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites at an early stage, thus making it possible to enhance the NOx purification rate. Here, note that the case where NH3 has not been adsorbed to the vicinity sites includes, for example, the case where the SCR catalyst 3 begins to be used, such as at the time of starting of the internal combustion engine 1, etc. After the processing of this step, this routine is once ended.

    [0057] In step S105, it is determined whether the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 estimated in step S102 is equal to or greater than a second target adsorption amount tnl2. The second target adsorption amount tnl2 is an amount of adsorption which is greater than the first target adsorption amount tnl1 and which becomes a threshold value for whether the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is not near its saturation or the amount of adsorption of NH3 is near its saturation, and it changes in accordance with the SCR catalyst bed temperature. A characteristic curve of the second target adsorption amount tnl2 can be beforehand defined as a map by experiments, verification, etc. For this reason, at the time of processing this step, the second target adsorption amount tnl2 is derived by taking the SCR catalyst bed temperature detected by the temperature sensor 8 into the map of the characteristic curve of the second target adsorption amount tnl2.

    [0058] In step S105, in cases where a negative determination is made in which the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 thus estimated is not equal to or greater than the second target adsorption amount tnl2, the routine shifts to step S106. However, in step S105, in cases where an affirmative determination is made in which the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 thus estimated is equal to or greater than the second target adsorption amount tnl2, the routine shifts to step S107.

    [0059] In step S106, the control part 9d adds, from the urea water addition valve 4, an amount of urea water which is the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount paa. In this embodiment, urea water is added in an amount of addition which becomes an equivalent ratio of 1. According to this step, in cases where the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist, it is possible to continue to add an optimal amount of urea water which is the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount paa, and so a high NOx purification rate can be maintained. After the processing of this step, this routine is once ended.

    [0060]  In step S107, it is determined whether the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 estimated in step S102 is equal to or greater than a third target adsorption amount tnl3. The third target adsorption amount tnl3 is an amount of adsorption which is greater than the second target adsorption amount tnl2 and which becomes a threshold value for whether the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is near its saturation or has reached the saturated amount of adsorption, and it changes in accordance with the SCR catalyst bed temperature. A characteristic curve of the third target adsorption amount tnl3 can be beforehand defined as a map by experiments, verification, etc. For this reason, at the time of processing this step, the third target adsorption amount tnl3 is derived by taking the SCR catalyst bed temperature detected by the temperature sensor 8 into the map of the characteristic curve of the third target adsorption amount tnl3.

    [0061] In step S107, in cases where a negative determination is made in which the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 thus estimated is not equal to or greater than the third target adsorption amount tnl3, the routine shifts to step S108. However, in step S107, in cases where an affirmative determination is made in which the amount of adsorption enl of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 thus estimated is equal to or greater than the third target adsorption amount tnl3, the routine shifts to step S109.

    [0062] In step S108, the control part 9d adds, from the urea water addition valve 4, an amount of urea water paa- which has been decreased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount. The amount of urea water paa- here, which has been decreased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, is, for example, a preset amount of addition smaller than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, or is decreased by multiplying the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount by a preset coefficient. According to this step, in cases where the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 comes near its saturation, it is possible to avoid NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the SCR catalyst 3 by adding the amount of urea water paa- which is smaller than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount. In addition, it is possible to maintain the NOx purification rate over a long period of time by continuing to add urea water even in a small amount in a continuous manner, rather than by adding the amount of urea water paa and stopping the addition thereof at an early stage. After the processing of this step, this routine is once ended.

    [0063] In step S109, the control part 9 stops the addition of the urea water from the urea water addition valve 4. According to this step, in cases where the saturated amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 has been reached, the addition of the urea water is stopped, thereby making it possible to avoid with certainty the NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the SCR catalyst 3. After the processing of this step, this routine is once ended.

    [0064] Fig. 7 is a view showing the urea water addition control according to this routine from the relation between the SCR catalyst bed temperature and the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3. As shown in Fig. 7, when the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is less than the first target adsorption amount tnl1, the amount of urea water paa+, which has been increased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, is added. When the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is equal to or more than the first target adsorption amount tnl1 and less than the second target adsorption amount tnl2, the amount of urea water paa equal to the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount is added. When the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is equal to or more than the second target adsorption amount tnl2 and less than the third target adsorption amount tnl3, the amount of urea water paa- decreased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount is added. When the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is equal to or more than the third target adsorption amount tnl3, the addition of urea water is stopped.

    [0065] Fig. 8 is a view showing the change over time of the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 at the time of executing the urea water addition control according to this embodiment. As shown in Fig. 8, when the internal combustion engine 1 is started, the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 is less than the first target adsorption amount tnl1, so the amount of urea water paa+, which has been increased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, is added to cause NH3 to be adsorbed to vicinity sites at an early state. When the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 becomes equal to or more than the first target adsorption amount tnl1, the urea water paa of the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount is added, so that the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites is caused to continue to exist. When the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 becomes equal to or more than the second target adsorption amount tnl2, the urea water paa-, which has been decreased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, is added, thereby avoiding NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the SCR catalyst 3. Despite that, however, in cases where the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 becomes equal to or more than the third target adsorption amount tnl3, the addition of urea water is stopped, thereby avoiding NH3 from passing through to the downstream side of the SCR catalyst 3 with certainty. Then, in cases where the NH3 adsorbed to the adsorption sites is desorbed therefrom to decrease the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3, urea water is added again.

    [0066] In other words, this control first adds, at the time of the start of the addition of urea water, a larger amount of urea water than an amount which causes the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist, until the time NH3 is caused to be adsorbed to the vicinity sites during the course in which the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 comes to the saturated amount of adsorption. After NH3 has been adsorbed to the vicinity sites, an amount of urea water to cause the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist successively continues to be added. Here, in cases where the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 comes near its saturation, the amount of addition of urea water is once reduced or the addition of urea water is once stopped, though the amount of urea water to cause the NH3 adsorbed to the vicinity sites to continue to exist has continued to be added.

    [0067] According to this routine explained above, urea water is added as continuously as possible, so that a decrease in the NOx purification rate can be avoided.

    (Others)



    [0068] Here, note that in this embodiment, the third target adsorption amount for comparison with the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 has been set. However, the present invention is not limited to this. Fig. 9 is a flow chart showing a urea water addition control routine. As shown in Fig. 9, in cases where the amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 has become equal to or more than the second target adsorption amount tnl2 without setting the third target adsorption amount, in step S201, the amount of urea water paa-, which has been decreased from the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, may be added from the urea water addition valve 4, or the addition of urea water may be stopped. For example, there can be adopted a method in which the amount of decrease of urea water is increased in accordance with the increasing amount of adsorption of NH3 in the SCR catalyst 3 which is equal or more than the second target adsorption amount, and the addition of urea water is stopped at a final stage.

    EXPLANATION OF REFERENCE NUMERALS AND CHARACTERS



    [0069] 
    1:
    internal combustion engine
    2:
    exhaust passage
    3:
    SCR catalyst
    4:
    urea water addition valve
    5:
    urea water tank
    6:
    first NOx sensor
    7:
    second NOx sensor
    8:
    temperature sensor
    9:
    ECU
    9a:
    purification rate calculation part
    9b:
    adsorption amount estimation part
    9c:
    addition amount calculation part
    9d:
    control part
    10:
    air flow meter



    Claims

    1. An exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine (1) comprising:

    a selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3) that is arranged in an exhaust passage (2) of the internal combustion engine; and

    a reducing agent addition (4) part that is arranged in said exhaust passage (2) at an upstream side of said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3), and adds a reducing agent for supplying NH3 to said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3),
    wherein

    said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3) has an active spot which purifies NOx by the use of NH3, and an adsorption site which adsorbs NH3;

    a vicinity site, which is located in the vicinity of said active spot, and a distant site, which is located distant from said active spot, exist in said adsorption site;

    said vicinity site tends to deliver NH3 to said active spot more easily than said distant site does, and the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site is faster than the desorption rate of NH3 in said distant site; and characterized in that

    a control part (9) is provided which controls the addition of the reducing agent from said reducing agent addition part (4) based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site so as to continue to cause the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity site to exist.


     
    2. The exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine (1) as set forth in claim 1,
    wherein said control part (9) continues to add the reducing agent until the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst comes near its saturation.
     
    3. The exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine (1) as set forth in claim 1, wherein
    in cases where NH3 has not been adsorbed to said vicinity site, said control part (9) adds the reducing agent in an amount increased from that in cases where the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity site is caused to continue to exist.
     
    4. The exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine (1) as set forth in claim 1, further comprising:

    an addition amount calculation part that calculates, based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site and an amount of NOx flowing into said selective reduction type NOx catalyst, a predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, which causes the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity site to continue to exist, of the reducing agent to be added from said reducing agent addition part (4);

    wherein said control part (9) adds the reducing agent in an amount more than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where NH3 has not been adsorbed to said vicinity site, based on the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount calculated by said addition amount calculation part, adds the reducing agent in the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity site is caused to continue to exist, and adds the reducing agent in an amount less than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount or stops the addition of the reducing agent in cases where the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst has come near its saturation.


     
    5. The exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine (1) as set forth in claim 1, further comprising:

    a first NOx concentration acquisition part (6) that acquires the concentration of NOx in an exhaust gas which flows into said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3);

    a second NOx concentration acquisition part (7) that acquires the concentration of NOx in an exhaust gas which flows out of said selective reduction type NOx catatyst (3);

    a NOx purification rate calculation part that calculates a NOx purification rate in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst from the NOx concentrations acquired by said first NOx concentration acquisition part (6) and said second NOx concentration acquisition part (7);

    a catalyst temperature detection part (8) that detects the temperature of said selective reduction type NOx catalyst;

    an adsorption amount estimation part that estimates the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst based on the NOx purification rate calculated by said NOx purification rate calculation part and the catalyst temperature detected by said catalyst temperature detection part (8); and

    an addition amount calculation part that calculates a predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount, which causes the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity sites to continue to exist, of the reducing agent to be added from said reducing agent addition part (4), based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site, and an amount of NOx flowing into said selective reduction type NOx catalyst which is calculated from the NOx concentration acquired by the first NOx concentration acquisition part and an amount of air;

    wherein a first target adsorption amount, which becomes a threshold value for whether NH3 has not been adsorbed to said vicinity site in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3) or NH3 has been adsorbed to said vicinity site, and a second target adsorption amount, which is more than the first target adsorption amount and which becomes a threshold value for whether the amount of adsorption of NH3 in said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3) does not come near its saturation or the amount of adsorption thereof comes near its saturation, are set; and

    wherein said control part (9) adds the reducing agent in an amount more than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by said adsorption amount estimation part is less than the first target adsorption amount, based on the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount calculated by said addition amount calculation part, adds the reducing agent in the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by said adsorption amount estimation part is equal to or more than the first target adsorption amount and is less than the second target adsorption amount, and adds the reducing agent in an amount less than the predetermined equivalent ratio addition amount or stops the addition of the reducing agent in cases where the amount of adsorption estimated by said adsorption amount estimation part is equal to or more than the second target adsorption amount.


     
    6. A reducing agent addition method in an exhaust gas purification apparatus of an internal combustion engine which is provided with:

    a selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3) that is arranged in an exhaust passage (2) of the internal combustion engine (1); and

    a reducing agent addition part (4) that is arranged in said exhaust passage (2) at an upstream side of said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3), and adds a reducing agent for supplying NH3 to said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3);
    wherein

    said selective reduction type NOx catalyst (3) has an active spot which purifies NOx by the use of NH3, and an adsorption site which adsorbs NH3;

    a vicinity site, which is located in the vicinity of said active spot, and a distant site, which is located distant from said active spot, exist in said adsorption site;

    said vicinity site tends to deliver NH3 to said active spot more easily than said distant site does, and the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site is faster than the desorption rate of NH3 in said distant site; and

    the addition of the reducing agent from said reducing agent addition part (4) is controlled based on the desorption rate of NH3 in said vicinity site so as to continue to cause the NH3 adsorbed to said vicinity site to exist.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Abgasreinigungsvorrichtung einer Verbrennungskraftmaschine (1), aufweisend:

    einen Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3), der sich in einem Abgasstrang (2) der Verbrennungskraftmaschine befindet; und

    ein Reduktionsmittel-Beigabeteil (4), das sich in dem Abgasstrang (2) stromaufwärts von dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) befindet und dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) ein Reduktionsmittel zum Zuführen von NH3 beigibt;
    wobei

    der Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) einen aktiven Punkt, der NOx durch die Verwendung von NH3 reinigt, und eine Adsorptionsstelle, die NH3 adsorbiert, aufweist;

    eine Nahseite, die sich in der Nähe des aktiven Punkts befindet, und eine Fernseite, die sich von dem aktiven Punkt entfernt befindet, an der Adsorptionsstelle vorhanden sind;

    wobei die Nahseite dazu tendiert, NH3 leichter an den aktiven Punkt zu befördern als die Fernseite, und wobei die Desorptionsrate von NH3 an der Nahseite schneller ist als die Desorptionsrate von NH3 an der Fernseite; und

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    ein Steuerteil (9) vorgesehen ist, das die Beigabe des Reduktionsmittels durch das Reduktionsmittel-Beigabeteil (4) auf der Grundlage der Desorptionsrate von NH3 an der Nahseite steuert, um weiterhin das Existieren des an die Nahseite adsorbierten NH3 zu bewirken.


     
    2. Abgasreinigungsvorrichtung einer Verbrennungskraftmaschine nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Steuerteil (9) fortfährt, das Reduktionsmittel beizugeben, bis sich die Adsorptionsmenge von NH3 in dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator der Sättigung annähert.
     
    3. Abgasreinigungsvorrichtung einer Verbrennungskraftmaschine nach Anspruch 1, wobei
    bei Fällen, bei denen NH3 nicht an die Nahseite adsorbiert wurde, das Steuerteil (9) das Reduktionsmittel in einer Menge beigibt, die im Vergleich zu Fällen, bei denen das an die Nahseite adsorbierte NH3 veranlasst wird, weiterhin zu existieren, erhöht ist.
     
    4. Abgasreinigungsvorrichtung einer Verbrennungskraftmaschine nach Anspruch 1, ferner aufweisend:

    ein Beigabemengenberechnungsteil, das auf der Grundlage der Desorptionsrate von NH3 an der Nahseite und einer NOx-Menge, die in den Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator strömt, eine vorgegebene Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge des Reduktionsmittels, die durch das Reduktionsmittel-Beigabeteil (4) beizugeben ist, berechnet, die bewirkt, dass das an der Nahseite adsorbierte NH3 weiterhin existiert;

    wobei das Steuerteil (9) das Reduktionsmittel in Fällen, bei denen NH3 nicht an die Nahseite adsorbiert wurde, auf der Grundlage der vorgegebenen Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge, die durch das Beigabemengenberechnungsteil berechnet wurde, in einer Menge beigibt, die höher ist als die vorgegebene Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge, das Reduktionsmittel in der vorgegebenen Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge in Fällen beigibt, bei denen bewirkt wird, dass das an die Nahseite adsorbierte NH3 weiterhin existiert, und das Reduktionsmittel in einer Menge, die geringer ist als die vorgegebene Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge, beigibt oder die Beigabe des Reduktionsmittels in solchen Fällen beendet, bei denen die Adsorptionsmenge von NH3 in dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator der Sättigung angenähert ist.


     
    5. Abgasreinigungsvorrichtung einer Verbrennungskraftmaschine (1) nach Anspruch 1, ferner aufweisend:

    ein erstes NOx-Konzentrationserhaltungsteil (6), das die NOx-Konzentration in einem Abgas erhält, das in den Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) strömt;

    ein zweites NOx-Konzentrationserhaltungsteil (7), das die NOx-Konzentration in einem Abgas erhält, das aus dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) strömt;

    ein NOx-Reinigungsratenberechnungsteil, das eine NOx-Reinigungsrate in dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator aus den NOx-Konzentrationen berechnet, die durch das erste NOx-Konzentrationserhaltungsteil (6) und das zweite NOx-Konzentrationserhaltungsteil (7) erhalten werden;

    ein Katalysatortemperaturerfassungsteil (8), das die Temperatur des Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysators erfasst;

    ein Adsorptionsmengenschätzteil, das die Adsorptionsmenge an NH3 in dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator auf der Grundlage der NOx-Reinigungsrate, die durch das NOx-Reinigungsratenberechnungsteil berechnet wurde, und der Katalysatortemperatur, die durch das Katalysatortemperaturerfassungsteil (8) erfasst wurde, schätzt; und

    ein Beigabemengenberechnungsteil, das eine vorgegebene Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge des Reduktionsmittels, das durch das Reduktionsmittel-Beigabeteil (4) beigegeben werden soll, und die bewirkt, dass das an die Nahstellen adsorbierte NH3 weiterhin existiert, auf der Grundlage der Desorptionsrate des NH3 an der Nahstelle, und einer Menge an NOx, die in den Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator strömt, die aus der NOx-Konzentration berechnet wird, die durch das erste NOx-Konzentrationserhaltungsteil erhalten wird, und einer Luftmenge berechnet;

    wobei eine erste Soll-Adsorptionsmenge, die ein Schwellenwert dafür wird, ob NH3 nicht an die Nahseite in dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) adsorbiert wurde oder ob NH3 an die Nahseite adsorbiert wurde, und eine zweite Soll-Adsorptionsmenge, die die erste Soll-Adsorptionsmenge übersteigt und die ein Schwellenwert dafür wird, ob sich die Adsorptionsmenge an NH3 in dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) nicht der Sättigung annähert oder ob sich die Adsorptionsmenge an NH3 der Sättigung annähert, eingestellt werden; und

    wobei das Steuerteil (9) auf der Grundlage der vorgegebenen Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge, die durch das Beigabemengenberechnungsteil berechnet wird, das Reduktionsmittel in einer Menge beigibt, die höher ist als die vorgegebene Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge, in Fällen, bei denen die Adsorptionsmenge, die durch das Adsorptionsmengenschätzteil geschätzt wird, geringer ist als die erste Solladsorptionsmenge, das Reduktionsmittel in der vorgegebenen Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge in Fällen zugibt, bei denen die durch das Adsorptionsmengenschätzteil geschätzte Adsorptionsmenge der ersten Solladsorptionsmenge gleicht oder sie übersteigt und geringer ist als die zweite Solladsorptionsmenge, und das Reduktionsmittel in einer Menge zugibt, die geringer ist als die vorgegebene Äquivalenzverhältnisbeigabemenge oder die Beigabe des Reduktionsmittels in solchen Fällen beendet, bei denen die Adsorptionsmenge, die durch das Adsorptionsmengenschätzteil geschätzt wird, der zweiten Solladsorptionsmenge gleicht oder höher als diese ist.


     
    6. Reduktionsmittel-Beigabeverfahren in einer Abgasreinigungsvorrichtung einer Verbrennungskraftmaschine, die Folgendes aufweist:

    einen Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3), der sich in einem Abgasstrang (2) der Verbrennungskraftmaschine (1) befindet; und

    ein Reduktionsmittel-Beigabeteil (4), das sich in dem Abgasstrang (2) stromaufwärts von dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) befindet und ein Reduktionsmittel beigibt, um dem Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) NH3 zuzuführen;
    wobei

    der Selektivreduktions-NOx-Katalysator (3) einen aktiven Punkt, der NOx durch die Verwendung von NH3 reinigt, und eine Adsorptionsstelle, die NH3 adsorbiert, aufweist;

    eine Nahseite, die sich in der Nähe des aktiven Punkts befindet, und eine Fernseite, die sich von dem aktiven Punkt entfernt befindet, an der Adsorptionsstelle vorhanden sind;

    wobei die Nahseite dazu tendiert, NH3 leichter an den aktiven Punkt zu befördern als die Fernseite, und wobei die Desorptionsrate von NH3 an der Nahseite schneller ist als die Desorptionsrate von NH3 an der Fernseite; und

    wobei die Beigabe des Reduktionsmittels durch das Reduktionsmittel-Beigabeteil (4) auf der Grundlage der Desorptionsrate des NH3 an der Nahstelle gesteuert wird, um weiterhin das Existieren des an die Nahseite adsorbierten NH3 zu bewirken.


     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil de purification de gaz d'échappement d'un moteur à combustion interne (1) comprenant :

    un catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) qui est agencé dans un passage d'échappement (2) du moteur à combustion interne ; et

    une partie d'ajout d'agent réducteur (4) qui est agencée dans ledit passage d'échappement (2) au niveau d'un côté amont dudit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3), et ajoute un agent réducteur pour alimenter NH3 vers ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3),

    dans lequel

    ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) a un point actif qui purifie NOx par l'utilisation de NH3, et un site d'adsorption qui absorbe NH3 ;

    un site de voisinage, qui est situé dans le voisinage dudit point actif, et un site distant, qui est situé à distance dudit point actif, existent dans ledit site d'adsorption ;

    ledit site de voisinage a tendance à distribuer NH3 vers ledit point actif plus facilement que ledit site distant, et le taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site de voisinage est plus rapide que le taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site distant ; et caractérisé en ce que

    une partie de commande (9) est disposée qui commande l'ajout de l'agent réducteur depuis ladite partie d'ajout d'agent réducteur (4) sur la base du taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site de voisinage de manière à continuer d'amener le NH3 adsorbé audit site de voisinage à exister.


     
    2. Appareil de purification de gaz d'échappement d'un moteur à combustion interne (1) selon la revendication 1,
    dans lequel ladite partie de commande (9) continue d'ajouter l'agent réducteur jusqu'à ce que la quantité d'adsorption de NH3 dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective soit proche de sa saturation.
     
    3. Appareil de purification de gaz d'échappement d'un moteur à combustion interne (1) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel
    dans des cas dans lesquels NH3 n'a pas été adsorbé audit site de voisinage, ladite partie de commande (9) ajoute l'agent réducteur en une quantité augmentée par rapport à celle dans des cas dans lesquels le NH3 adsorbé audit site de voisinage est amené à continuer d'exister.
     
    4. Appareil de purification de gaz d'échappement d'un moteur à combustion interne (1) selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

    une partie de calcul de quantité d'ajout qui calcule, sur la base du taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site de voisinage et d'une quantité de NOx s'écoulant dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective, une quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé, qui amène le NH3 adsorbé audit site de voisinage à continuer d'exister, de l'agent réducteur à ajouter à partir de ladite partie d'ajout d'agent réducteur (4) ;

    dans lequel ladite partie de commande (9) ajoute l'agent réducteur en une quantité supérieure à la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé dans des cas dans lesquels NH3 n'a pas été adsorbé audit sites de voisinage, sur la base de la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé calculée par ladite partie de calcul de quantité d'ajout, ajoute l'agent réducteur dans la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé dans des cas dans lesquels le NH3 adsorbé audit site de voisinage est amené à continuer d'exister, et ajoute l'agent réducteur en une quantité inférieure à la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé ou arrête l'ajout de l'agent réducteur dans des cas dans lesquels la quantité d'adsorption de NH3 dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective devient proche de sa saturation.


     
    5. Appareil de purification de gaz d'échappement d'un moteur à combustion interne (1) selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

    une première partie d'acquisition de concentration de NOx (6) qui acquiert la concentration de NOx dans un gaz d'échappement qui s'écoule dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) ;

    une deuxième partie d'acquisition de concentration de NOx (7) qui acquiert la concentration de NOx dans un gaz d'échappement qui s'écoule depuis ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) ;

    une partie de calcul de taux de purification de NOx qui calcule un taux de purification de NOx dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective à partir des concentrations de NOx acquises par ladite première partie d'acquisition de concentration de NOx (6) et ladite deuxième partie d'acquisition de concentration de NOx (7) ;

    une partie de détection de température de catalyseur (8) qui détecte la température dudit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective ;

    une partie d'estimation de quantité d'adsorption qui estime la quantité d'adsorption de NH3 dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective sur la base du taux de purification de NOx calculé par ladite partie de calcul de taux de purification de NOx et de la température de catalyseur détectée par ladite partie de détection de température de catalyseur (8) ; et

    une partie de calcul de quantité d'ajout qui calcule une quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé, qui amène le NH3 adsorbé auxdits sites de voisinage à continuer d'exister, de l'agent réducteur à ajouter depuis ladite partie d'ajout d'agent réducteur (4), sur la base du taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site de voisinage, et d'une quantité de NOx s'écoulant dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective qui est calculée à partir de la concentration de NOx acquises par la première partie d'acquisition de concentration de NOx et d'une quantité d'air ;

    dans lequel une première quantité d'adsorption cible, qui devient une valeur de seuil pour déterminer si NH3 n'a pas été adsorbé audit site de voisinage dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) ou NH3 a été adsorbé audit site de voisinage, et une deuxième quantité d'adsorption cible, qui est supérieure à la première quantité d'adsorption cible et qui devient une valeur de seuil pour déterminer si la quantité d'adsorption de NH3 dans ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) ne devient pas proche de sa saturation ou la quantité d'adsorption de celui-ci devient proche de sa saturation, sont définies ; et

    dans lequel ladite partie de commande (9) ajoute l'agent réducteur en une quantité supérieure à la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé dans des cas dans lesquels la quantité d'adsorption estimée par ladite partie d'estimation de quantité d'adsorption est inférieure à la première quantité d'adsorption cible, sur la base de la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé calculée par ladite partie de calcul de quantité d'ajout, ajoute l'agent réducteur dans la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé dans des cas dans lesquels la quantité d'adsorption estimée par ladite partie d'estimation de quantité d'adsorption est égale ou supérieure à la première quantité d'adsorption cible et est inférieure à la deuxième quantité d'adsorption cible, et ajoute l'agent réducteur en une quantité inférieure à la quantité d'ajout de rapport équivalent prédéterminé ou arrête l'ajout de l'agent réducteur dans des cas dans lesquels la quantité d'adsorption estimée par ladite partie d'estimation de quantité d'adsorption est égale ou supérieure à la deuxième quantité d'adsorption cible.


     
    6. Procédé d'ajout d'agent réducteur dans un appareil de purification de gaz d'échappement d'un moteur à combustion interne qui est pourvu de :

    un catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) qui est agencé dans un passage d'échappement (2) du moteur à combustion interne (1) ; et

    une partie d'ajout d'agent réducteur (4) qui est agencée dans ledit passage d'échappement (2) au niveau d'un côté amont dudit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3), et ajoute un agent réducteur pour alimenter NH3 vers ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3),

    dans lequel

    ledit catalyseur à NOx de type à réduction sélective (3) a un point actif qui purifie NOx par l'utilisation de NH3, et un site d'adsorption qui absorbe NH3 ;

    un site de voisinage, qui est situé dans le voisinage dudit point actif, et un site distant, qui est situé à distance dudit point actif, existent dans ledit site d'adsorption ;

    ledit site de voisinage a tendance à distribuer NH3 vers ledit point actif plus facilement que ledit site distant, et le taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site de voisinage est plus rapide que le taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site distant ; et

    l'ajout de l'agent réducteur depuis ladite partie d'ajout d'agent réducteur (4) est régulé sur la base du taux de désorption de NH3 dans ledit site de voisinage de manière à continuer d'amener le NH3 adsorbé auxdits sites de voisinage à exister.


     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description