Passive Nitrogen Oxides Removal from a Diesel-engine Exhaust Gas using a Biomass-Carbon Catalyst

  • Ibrahim Yakub


Nitrogen oxides (NOx) removal from a diesel-engine exhaust gas is limited to the utilization of ammonia/urea as a reducing agent (SCR) which arose environmental concerns over the use of this chemical. Therefore, this study explored the potential of a sustainable NOx removal system by replacing ammonia with intrinsic reductants present in the exhaust gas such as hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, and by application of cost-effective carbon-supported transitional metals catalyst. Copper-cerium catalyst supported over palm kernel shell activated carbon (Cu-Ce/PKS) was synthesized via deposition-precipitation method. The characterization shows that the catalyst has a considerably high surface area (though lower than the support). The high NOx removal by Cu-Ce/PKS in a passive catalytic reaction is attributed to the surface area provided by the carbon support, the low copper reducibility giving the low optimum operating temperature, and the synergistic effect between Cu and Ce resulting in the wide temperature window at low-temperature range. It is concluded that Cu-Ce supported over palm kernel shell activated carbon can be further developed to reduce NOx in a passive catalytic removal for a sustainable and cost-effective SCR system.