Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. John Nuszkowski

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Thompson

Third Advisor

Dr. James Fletcher

Department Chair

Dr. Osama Jadaan

College Dean

Dr. William Klostermeyer


The subject of this study is the effect of in-cylinder selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) of NOx emissions in diesel exhaust gas by means of direct injection of aqueous urea ((NH2)2CO) into the combustion chamber. A single cylinder diesel test engine was modified to accept an electronically controlled secondary common rail injection system to deliver the aqueous urea directly into the cylinder during engine operation.

Direct in-cylinder injection was chosen in order to ensure precise delivery of the reducing agent without the risk of any premature reactions taking place. Unlike direct in-cylinder injection of neat water, aqueous urea also works as a reducing agent by breaking down into ammonia (NH3) and Cyanuric Acid ((HOCN)3). These compounds serve as the primary reducing agents in the NOx reduction mechanism explored here. The main reducing agent, aqueous urea, was admixed with glycerol (C3H8O3) in an 80-20 ratio, by weight, to function as a lubricant for the secondary injector.

The aqueous urea injection timing and duration is critical to the reduction of NOx emissions due to the dependence of SNCR NOx reduction on critical factors such as temperature, pressure, reducing agent to NOx ratio, Oxygen and radical content, residence time and NH3 slip. From scoping engine tests at loads of 40 percent and 80 percent at 1500 rpm, an aqueous urea injection strategy was developed. The final injection strategy chosen was four molar ratios, 4.0, 2.0, 1.0 and 0.5 with five varying injection timings of 60, 20, 10, 0, and -30 degrees after top dead center (ATDC). In addition to the base line and aqueous urea tests, water injection and an 80-20 water-glycerol solution reduction agent tests were also conducted to compare the effects of said additives as well. The comparison of baseline and SNCR operation was expected to show that the urea acted as a reducing agent, lowering NOx emissions up to 100% (based on exhaust stream studies) in the diesel exhaust gas without the aid of a catalyst.

The data collected from the engine tests showed that the aqueous urea-glycerol solution secondary had no effect on the reduction of NOx and even resulted in an increase of up to 5% in some tests. This was due to the low average in-cylinder temperature as well as a short residence time, prohibiting the reduction reaction from taking place. The neat water and water-glycerol solution secondary injection was found to have a reduction effect of up to 59% on NOx production in the emissions due to the evaporative cooling effect and increased heat capacity of the water.