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1. WO2021062418 - EXHAUST GAS MIXER, SYSTEM, AND METHOD OF USING

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

We Claim:

1. An exhaust gas mixer, comprising a plurality of elements disposed within a flowpath located between a mixer inlet through which an exhaust gas and a reductant flow into the exhaust gas mixer, and a mixer outlet through which the exhaust gas and the reductant flow out of the exhaust gas mixer, at least one of the elements being heatable by an external power source independent of another of the plurality of elements.

2. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of elements are independently heatable by the external power source.

3. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein at least one of the elements is heated using electrical resistance, microwave radiation, radiative heating, magnetic field inductive heating, thermal communication with an external heat source, piezoelectric heating, or a combination thereof.

4. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein at least one of the elements is independently configured for resistance heating wherein an amount of electric current is directed through the element sufficient to increase the temperature of the element, independent of another element.

5. The exhaust gas mixer of claims 1, wherein at least one element is dimensioned and arranged within the flowpath to disrupt a flow of the exhaust gas and the reductant flowing through the mixer.

6. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 5, wherein one or more of the elements comprise one or more nozzles, flow diverters, fins, appendages, holes, cross sectional profiles, bends, twists, or a combination thereof.

7. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein the plurality of elements are arranged within the flowpath along a cartesian grid, a polar grid, a spherical grid, a toroidal grid, in a ladder type arrangement, in a plurality of arrays, rows, groups, or a combination thereof.

8. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein the plurality of elements are arranged within the flowpath such that no linear flowpath from the mixer inlet to the mixer outlet exists.

9. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of at least one element comprises:

i) one or more coating layers disposed on an electrically conductive substrate comprising a catalytically active material suitable to produce ammonia and/or an ammonia precursor from urea;

ii) a hydrophobic surface;

iii) a hydrophilic surface;

iv) a morphology which facilitates formation of reductant from droplets contacting the element;

v) or a combination thereof.

10. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 9, wherein at least a portion of a surface of at least one element comprises:

i) an RMS roughness of greater than or equal to about 50 microns;

ii) an RMS roughness of less than or equal to about 50 microns;

iii) a stippled morphology;

iv) a porous morphology;

v) a saw-tooth profile; or

vi) a combination thereof.

11. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein at least one element comprises a first portion having a first electrical resistance; and a second portion having a second electrical resistance which is different than the first electrical resistance, such that when an electric current flows through the element, the first portion is heated to a higher temperature than the second portion.

12. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein at least one element comprises a main portion comprising the shortest electric flowpath between the power source and a ground such that the main portion is resistively heated to a first temperature when a sufficient amount of an electric current flows through the element, and one or more secondary portions which are arranged pendant to the main portion and which are

resistively heated, if at all, to a second temperature below the first temperature when the same electric current flows through the element.

13. The exhaust gas mixer of claim 1, wherein at least one element comprises a plurality of zones, wherein at least one zone comprises a different metal or metal alloy relative to another of the zones, a metallic foam, a 3D-printed structure, an additive manufacture structure, or a combination thereof.

14. An exhaust gas system for treating an exhaust gas from an exhaust gas source, comprising:

an exhaust gas mixer disposed within a conduit downstream of a urea water solution (UWS) injector system, and upstream of a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst, an electronic controller configured to direct power to at least one element of the mixer, and in electronic communication with one or more sensors and/or control modules;

the exhaust gas mixer comprising a plurality of elements disposed within a flowpath located between a mixer inlet through which the exhaust gas and a reductant flow into the exhaust gas mixer, and a mixer outlet through which the exhaust gas and the reductant flow out of the exhaust gas mixer, at least one of the elements being heatable by an external power source independent of another of the plurality of elements;

wherein the controller is configured to increase or decrease a temperature of the one or more elements independent of the other elements to optimize SCR catalytic reduction of NOx present in the exhaust gas flowing therethrough to nitrogen and water downstream of the SCR catalyst, based on one or more inputs from the one or more sensors and/or control modules.

15. The exhaust gas system of claim 14, further comprising one or more control modules, and/or one or more system components, each in electronic communication with the controller, wherein the controller is configured to monitor inputs from one or more sensors, one or more control modules, and/or to control one or more system components, and wherein the controller directs power to one or more of the elements based on one or more sensor and/or control module inputs, and/or in unison with controlling one or more system components.

16. The exhaust gas system of claim 15, wherein the one or more sensor and/or control module inputs, and/or the one or more system component controls include:

an urea water solution (UWS) injection mass, a UWS spray droplet size or size distribution, a UWS injector frequency, a UWS injector duty cycle, a UWS injection pump pressure, an exhaust gas flow rate sensor, a NOx and/or ammonia concentration sensor downstream of the SCR catalyst, a NOx and/or ammonia concentration sensor upstream of the UWS injector, a NOx and/or ammonia concentration sensor between the mixer and the exit of the SCR catalyst, a measure of distribution uniformity of flow, reductant downstream of the mixer, an exhaust gas temperature sensor upstream of the UWS injector, an exhaust gas temperature sensor downstream of the UWS injector, a mixer segment temperature sensor, a thermal camera, a mixer temperature distribution, a stored ammonia mass in the SCR catalyst, a stored ammonia distribution in the SCR catalyst, a stored NOx mass in the SCR catalyst, a stored NOx distribution in the SCR catalyst, a stored sulfur mass in the SCR catalyst, a stored sulfur distribution in the SCR catalyst, a stored hydrocarbon mass in the SCR catalyst, a stored hydrocarbon distribution in the SCR catalyst, a stored water mass in the SCR catalyst, a stored water distribution in the SCR catalyst, an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) setting, a cylinder deactivation setting, a fuel injector timing, a fuel injection mass, an engine load, an elevation, an ambient temperature sensor, a UWS integrity sensor, an engine speed, a fuel composition sensor, or a combination thereof.

17. The exhaust gas system of claim 14, wherein the controller utilizes an algorithm, machine learning, a neural network, artificial intelligence, a model, a calculation of prediction mechanism, one or more lookup tables, or a combination thereof to select to which of the one or more of the elements to direct power from the external power source, to optimize SCR catalytic reduction of NOx present in the exhaust gas flowing therethrough.

18. The exhaust gas system of claim 14, wherein the system is capable of generating an amount of ammonia and/or an ammonia precursor suitable to remove a NOx level of greater than or equal to about 0.5 g NOx/bhp-hr, or greater than or equal to about 300 mg NOx/mile, at an exhaust gas temperature below about 220 °C.

19. The exhaust gas system of claim 14, wherein the controller is configured to direct an amount of power from the external power source to one or more of the elements to increase the temperature of the exhaust gas flowing therethrough in an amount sufficient to increase a temperature of at least a portion of the SCR catalyst.

0 A method comprising:

i) providing the exhaust gas system according to any one of claims 14 through 19, comprising the exhaust gas mixer according to any one of claims 1 through 13; ii) directing a urea water solution and an exhaust gas comprising an amount of NOx from the exhaust gas source therethrough; and

iii) controlling a direction of power from the external power source to at least one of the elements to independently increase or decrease a temperature of at least one element to optimize SCR catalytic reduction of NOx present in the exhaust gas flowing therethrough to nitrogen and water downstream of the SCR catalyst, based on one or more inputs from the one or more sensors and/or control modules.