Conductometric Sensor for Soot Mass Flow Detection in Exhausts of Internal Combustion Engines

Sensors (Basel). 2015 Nov 13;15(11):28796-806. doi: 10.3390/s151128796.


Soot sensors are required for on-board diagnostics (OBD) of automotive diesel particulate filters (DPF) to detect filter failures. Widely used for this purpose are conductometric sensors, measuring an electrical current or resistance between two electrodes. Soot particles deposit on the electrodes, which leads to an increase in current or decrease in resistance. If installed upstream of a DPF, the "engine-out" soot emissions can also be determined directly by soot sensors. Sensors were characterized in diesel engine real exhausts under varying operation conditions and with two different kinds of diesel fuel. The sensor signal was correlated to the actual soot mass and particle number, measured with an SMPS. Sensor data and soot analytics (SMPS) agreed very well, an impressing linear correlation in a double logarithmic representation was found. This behavior was even independent of the used engine settings or of the biodiesel content.

Keywords: accumulating sensor; diesel particulate filter (DPF); dosimeter; on-board diagnostics (OBD); soot sensor; soot-load determination.