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SCR

EURO 4
Student booklet

Foreword

Contents

This training package describes the


principles for Volvo buss EURO4 technology,
the so-called SCR system (Selective
Catalytic Reduction) as it is to be launched in
2006. The training is general and it should be
taken into consideration that the system can
vary, both software and hardware,
depending, amongst other things, on the
engine alternative and specification.
Changes can even have been made since
this training was published. The training is
intended only as just training and the contents
should not therefore be used for fault tracing
or similar.

1 Introduction to EURO 4 ..................................... 3


2 EURO 4, basic engine ....................................... 4
3 Urea ................................................................... 5
4 Chemical reaction ............................................. 7
5 Urea container and lines .................................... 8
6 Pump module .................................................... 9
7 Pump module, connections ............................. 10
8 Dosing module and temperature sensor ......... 11
9 Catalytic converter ........................................... 12
10 Vanadium ......................................................... 13
11 Nitrous oxide (NOx)sensor .............................. 14
12 Function, normal operation .............................. 15
13 Function, normal shut down ............................ 16
14 Function, low level in urea container ............... 17
15 Function, thawing the SCR system ................. 18
16 Diagnostics ...................................................... 19

HK EU4 2006EU2 2005


Big Cities EU4 2008-10
China EU4 2012

EU2 2005

EU4 2005/6*
EU5 2008/9*
US07 2007
US10 2010
JPN NST 2004/5*
JPN NLT 2005/7*
EU4 2006
KR EU4 2006-8*
TW US04 2007
(EU4 2007)

US07 2007-09
EU4 2007-09

EU4 2006

EU4 2009

Current EURO1-2 regulation


Current EURO3 regulation
US regulation
Japan regulation
New wehicles all types

EU4/ US04 2007/8*


EU4/ US07 / JPN NLT
2010/11*

Introduction to EURO 4

New emission demands are on the way in Europe and other parts of the world. Emissions of
nitrous oxide, NOx are a major cause of over-fertilization and acidification of land and water.
NOx even effects processes in the atmosphere, which amongst other things increases the
level of low-level ozone. The new regulations for Euro 4, which come into force in Europe in
the year 2006, demand that the nitrous oxide content of exhausts shall be reduced by 30%
and that the particulate content shall be reduced by 80% compared with Euro 3.
IN order to fulfil the demands of Euro 4, Volvo have chosen a technology called SCR
(Selective Catalytic Reduction). SCR works by treating the exhaust gases after they have left
the engine but before they are released into the air.
The reduced emissions are achieved partly by changes in the base engine specification and
partly by using a catalytic converter with urea solution added in the final phase of exhaust
treatment.
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EURO 4, basic engine

In order to fulfil EURO 4, another type of engine specification is required, as well as aftertreatment of exhaust gases.
EURO 3 engines have a particulate filter mounted after the catalytic converter, since this type
of basic engine specification although reducing the occurrence of nitrous oxide (NOx), leads
to an increase in the occurrence of particulates. It can be thought strange that the difference in
fuel consumption between a EURO 2 and a EURO 3 engine is so little, and one would think
that a EURO 4 engine, which releases even less NOx, should consume even less fuel. One
can describe the situation as such: add more fuel to make sure the fire burns properly. As
mentioned previously, the occurrence of nitrous oxide (NOx) is reduced but the occurrence of
particulates, which are captured by the particulate filter, is increased. This particulate filter is
not standard, but is an option.
The base specification for the EURO 4 basic engine is, in principle, the same as that for the
EURO 2 engine, which means that the emission values are the same. To reduce these values,
Volvo has used an number of different actions.
In order to achieve EURO 4 the alpha-point has been advanced and we use a new type of unit
injector that gives a harder, more powerful and more distinct injection pressure. These two
alterations result in increased efficiency and thereby reduced fuel consumption. In addition the
tolerances for liners, pistons and piston rings are tighter and another type of turbocharger is
used. This turbocharger can deliver more air at low engine speeds. The base engine software
is naturally also mapped differently. These actions lead to a reduction of particulate
occurrence, which in turn means that we no longer require a particulate filter.
The EURO 4 base engine specification however increases the occurrence of nitrous oxide
(NOx), but since the exhaust is after-treated in the SCR system, even these emission values
are considerably reduced.

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Friedrich Woehler
1800-1882

Urea

The French chemist Hilaire Marin Rouelle discovered the occurrence of urea in mammalian
urine in 1773. Urea, which is marketed under the name Adblue, is an organic compound
containing carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. The atoms that are specific for urea are
made from carbon dioxide, water, proteins and ammonia as they pass through the
metabolism of a mammal. This reaction is called the urea cycle.
When the German chemist Friedrich Whler tried to produce ammonia from the inorganic
substances potassium cyanide and ammonium sulphate in 1828, he accidentally produced
synthetic urea.
Friedrich Whler discovered that urea and ammonia have the same chemical formula, but
with different proportions. This was the first time that anybody had succeeded in synthetically
isolating an organic compound.
When urea is heated to +200 ammonia and carbon dioxide start to be produced. The SCR
system only uses the ammonia, however.
Synthetic urea occurs as crystals that are easily soluble in water.
This synthetic urea has become a base material for modern chemical production and is used
in many different areas, for example;
- Fertilizers for farming.
- In forestry, for treating root rot.
- As a de-icer at airports.
- Within the plastics industry.
- In hair and skin-care products.
- In makeup.
- In chewing gum, etc.
Urea crystals have been used to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide from power plants, etc.
since the beginning of the 1990s. The method works by adding urea crystals directly to the
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fire, which effected by the heat (800 - 950C), are converted to ammonia and carbon dioxide,
causing the nitrous oxides to be converted into harmless nitrogen and water. This type of
reduction is called SNCR (Selective Non Catalytic Reduction).
The urea solution used by Volvo buses consists of 32.5% urea crystals and 67.5% water. It is
a clear transparent liquid with a faint smell of ammonia that is non-inflammable. The addition
of water causes the ammonia and carbon dioxide to be released at lower temperatures.
Spilled urea can be cleaned up with warm water.
Urea solution diluted to 32.5% is not dangerous to handle. Crystallized urea can cause
skin irritation.
Urea has a freezing point of -11 and a pH value of 9,0 - 9,5.
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Chemical reaction

The base engine is not directly involved in the SCR process, since the addition of urea is
performed after the exhaust gas has left the engine.
Urea solution is injected into the exhaust gas just before the catalytic converter, which is
integrated in the silencer. The exhaust gas is made to rotate within the catalytic converter, to
heat it up as quickly as possible after starting. A special control unit monitors the system and
ensures that the chemical process in the catalytic converter is maintained. The system
demands relatively high exhaust gas temperatures (above +200C) in order to start working
and reduce emissions.
The urea reacts with the hot exhaust gases (nitrous oxides) and the ammonia in the urea
solution is released, which together with the catalytic converter start a chemical reaction that
converts the nitrous oxides in the exhaust to harmless nitrogen and water.
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Urea container and lines

The urea container consists of a separate moulded plastic container, which depending on the
specification of the bus, is available in two sizes, 40 or 60 litre. The filling throat has a 20 mm
opening and is equipped with a magnet. The filling pistol shall be designed so that it will not
open if it is not activated by the magnet in the filling throat. This is to avoid filling with other
liquids than urea.
A combined temperature/level sensor is connected to the container. The value from the level
sensor can be read on the bus display. A warning is displayed when the container is less than
10% full. The urea container is considered empty when there is less than five litres remaining,
which results in the dosing valve being shut until the container is refilled. A fault code is also
set in the bus display. If the urea container is emptied while driving, it will not cause any
damage to the urea system or to the engine, the only result is an increase in exhaust
emissions.
The urea container also has a built-in heating coil connected to the engine cooling system.
Suction and return lines are connected between the container and the pump unit. The lines
are insulated and electrically heated. Both of these heating systems are activated if the
temperature of the urea solution drops below -10 C and are inactivated at +10 C. To prevent
freezing, the dosing system is emptied every time the bus ignition key is turned off.
To ensure sufficient power to the electrical heaters and to increase the circulation of coolant,
the engine is set to fast idle when the temperature of the urea solution is less than -10 C.
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3
7

4
5

6
1
2

Pump module
membrane pump
pressure sensor

3
4

temperature sensor
Filter housing

5
6

Heater element
flow direction valve

These components are integrated in the SCR system pump module. The module also
contains a cooling valve and a non-return valve that are not shown in the figure.
These functions will be discussed in more detail further on in the booklet.
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7
1
2
3

Pump module, connections


Connector, electronics
Inlet, urea solution
Return from tank/dosing valve to pump

4
5

Return from pump to tank


Outlet, urea solution

The urea solution is sucked in from the container via the inlet and passes to the pump and
through the filter. From here the solution is pumped through the outlet to the dosing valve.
When the buss ignition key is turned to the 0 position, a return procedure starts. The urea
solution is sucked out of the dosing valve to the pump via the inlet return and is then pumped
back to the urea container via the outlet return.
The draining valve is used to manually drain the system when e.g. changing the filter.
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10

Dosing module and temperature sensor

Dosing of the urea solution is performed via a dosing unit mounted directly onto the exhaust
pipe, just before the catalytic converter. To ensure proper mixing with the exhaust gases the
mounting angle is 30 degrees to the exhaust flow.
The dosing unit contains an injector that injects a fine spray of urea solution with 5 Bars
pressure and which mixes with the exhaust gases just prior to the catalytic converter. The
dosing unit has one electrical connector and two urea connections, one for the inlet and one
for the return.
The injector is protected from the hot exhaust gases by a heat shield and an air pocket. If
necessary the metal body is also cooled by circulating urea solution, which normally has a
temperature of approx. 70 - 85 C.
The volume of urea solution that is injected varies dependant on the engine speed and load,
which is obtained from the engine EECU and information from the systems own sensors. The
SCR control unit collects the above information and then regulates the injector volume with a
PWM signal.
There is a temperature sensor mounted on the exhaust pipe close to the dosing unit. This
sensor supplies information about the exhaust gas temperature to the system and ensures
that urea injection does not take place when the exhaust temperature is below 200 C.
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11

Catalytic converter

Once the exhaust gases have reacted with the ammonia in the urea solution, they are led into
the SCR catalytic converter. the SCR catalytic converter contains four porous ceramic
structures that can be likened with a honeycomb. These ceramic structures contain amongst
other things vanadium, which reacts with the ammonia and nitrous oxides in the exhaust
gases and forms water vapour and harmless nitrogen.
The last part of the second pair of ceramic structures contain platinum. The platinum reacts
aggressively with the ammonia and removes any remaining excess ammonia to eliminate the
smell of ammonia in the exhaust.
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10 Vanadium
As previously mentioned, the SCR system catalytic converter contains vanadium. A catalyser
can be described as a material, in this case vanadium, that accelerates a chemical process
without being consumed by the process.
Vanadium was discovered in Mexico city as early as 1801 by the Spanish Mineralogist
Andrs Manuel del Rio (1765-1849), but was mistaken for contaminated chrome. The
element was re-discovered by Swede Nils Gabriel Sefstrm (1787-1845) around 1830 who
then managed to isolate it from bar iron that was extracted from Taberg in Swedish Smland.
Sefstrm named the element after the Nordic Goddess Vanadis, otherwise known as Freja.
It was produce in almost pure form by reduction of vanadium oxide with calcium in a pressure
vessel, by Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe (1833-1915) in 1867.
Pure vanadium is a shiny white metal that is soft and pliable. It is used primarily to make
alloyed steel for tools (Chrome Vanadium), and in ceramics and catalytic converters.
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11 Nitrous oxide (NOx)sensor


A nitrous oxide sensor is placed in the tailpipe just after the catalytic converter. The analogue
value from the nitrous oxide sensor is registered in a module that converts it to a digital value
and distributes it on the Can link J1939-7. This value can then be read by VCADS-pro or
alternatively via the OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) outlet. If the NOx value becomes too high, a
warning and a fault code are presented on the bus display.
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1
2
3
8
M

J1939-7

10
9
12

11

13

15

Nox

14

17

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12 Function, normal operation


1
2
3
4
5
6

Urea container
Level sensors
Temperature sensor
Urea pump
Filter
Pressure sensors

7
8
9
10
11
12

Temperature sensor
SCR control unit
Filter
Flow direction valve
Cooling control valve
Non-return valve

13
14
15
16
17

Dosing unit
Temperature sensor
Catalytic converter
NOx sensor
Converter

The SCR control unit receives signals from the urea tank level sensor indicating that the urea
solution is above the minimum level and from the temperature sensor indicating that the
solution temperature is not below the minimum temperature, that the exhaust temperature is
above 200 C and that the solution in the pump module filter is above the minimum
temperature. If these criteria are fulfilled, the following occurs;
The SCR control unit activates the flow direction valve and starts the pump, which in turn
sucks the solution from the urea container. The solution is sucked through the strainer and the
flow direction valve. The urea solution is then pressed through the filter and pressure sensor,
which ensures a system pressure of 5 Bar, and the temperature sensor. The SCR control unit
activates the injection valve which opens and injects a fine spray of urea solution into the
exhaust pipe. The catalytic converter converts the nitrous oxides (NOx) to harmless water
vapour and nitrogen.
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1
2
3
8
M

J1939-7

10
9
12

11

13

15

Nox

14

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13 Function, normal shut down


1
2
3
4
5
6

Urea container
Level sensors
Temperature sensor
Urea pump
Filter
Pressure sensors

7
8
9
10
11
12

Temperature sensor
SCR control unit
Filter
Flow direction valve
Cooling control valve
Non-return valve

13
14
15
16
17

Dosing unit
Temperature sensor
Catalytic converter
NOx sensor
Converter

The buss base engine is shut down and power is cut. The urea pump stops and the pressure
in the urea system drops. The SCR control unit deactivates the cooling control valve and
injection valve and their return springs close the sliders.
The flow direction valve is also deactivated and changes direction due to the effect of the
spring. The control unit then starts the urea pump which sucks back the urea solution through
the non-return valve, injection valve, pump module and back to the urea container. The
pressure sensor informs the control unit when the system is empty. The control unit then opens
the dosing valve for a short period to release any remaining urea into the catalytic converter.
The entire emptying process takes around 90 seconds.
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1
2
3
8
M

J1939-7

10
9
12

11

13

15

Nox

14

17

16

14 Function, low level in urea container


1
2
3
4
5
6

Urea container
Level sensors
Temperature sensor
Urea pump
Filter
Pressure sensors

7
8
9
10
11
12

Temperature sensor
SCR control unit
Filter
Flow direction valve
Cooling control valve
Non-return valve

13
14
15
16
17

Dosing unit
Temperature sensor
Catalytic converter
NOx sensor
Converter

If the level in the urea container drops below the minimum level (5 litre remaining) during
normal operation, the driver is warned via a symbol in the bus display.
The urea container level sensor sends a signal to the SCR control unit, which closes the
injection valve and injection into the exhaust pipe ceases. The cooling control valve is
activated and the remaining solution circulates and cools the injector.
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1
2
3

- 11C

8
M

J1939-7

10
9
12

11

13

15

Nox

14

17

16

15 Function, thawing the SCR system


1
2
3
4
5
6

Urea container
Level sensors
Temperature sensor
Urea pump
Filter
Pressure sensors

7
8
9
10
11
12

Temperature sensor
SCR control unit
Filter
Flow direction valve
Cooling control valve
Non-return valve

13
14
15
16
17

Dosing unit
Temperature sensor
Catalytic converter
NOx sensor
Converter

Since the urea solution freezes at -11 C, the urea container is fitted with a heating coil
connected to the engine coolant and the urea lines are insulated and electrically heated.
There is also a heating element inside the pump modules filter housing.
When the engine is started and the urea temperature is less than the minimum temperature (10 C) the temperature sensor sends a signal to the SCR control unit that prevents the urea
pump from starting before the urea solution is liquid. The pump module heating element is
activated at the same time, the urea line electrical heating is active and the engines coolant
starts to circulate in the urea container and the thawing process starts. The engine EECU
increases the engine speed to fast idle to optimize the thawing process. Once the urea
solution has become liquid, the urea pump starts, the various heating systems are
deactivated, the injector opens and the urea solution is injected into the exhaust pipe.
All heating functions are discontinued once the system temperature has reached +15 C.
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16 Diagnostics
Diagnosis and programming of the SCR system are performed with VCADS-pro via the bus
diagnostic outlet. Any fault codes in the bus display are shown under MID number 128 due to
the SCR control unit communication with J1708 and J1939 being via the engine EECU.
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