The History of Exhaust Gas Recirculation

- Apr 07, 2020-

The first EGR systems were crude; some were as simple as an orificve jet between the exhaust and intake tracts which admitted exhaust to the intake tract whenever the engine was running. Difficult starting, rough idling, and reduced performance and fuel economy resulted. By 1973, an EGR valve controlled by manifold vacuum opened or closed to admit exhaust to the intake tract only under certain conditions. Control systems grew more sophisticated as automakers gained experience; Volkswagen's "Coolant Controlled Exhaust Gas Recirculation" system of 1973 exemplified this evolution: a coolant temperature sensor blocked vacuum to the EGR valve until the engine reached normal operating temperature. This prevented driveability problems due to unnecessary exhaust induction; NOx forms under elevated temperature conditions generally not present with a cold engine. Moreover, the EGR valve was controlled, in part, by vacuum drawn from the carburetor"s venturi, which allowed more precise constraint of EGR flow to only those engine load conditions under which NOx is likely to form. Later, backpressure transducers were added to the EGR valve control to further tailor EGR flow to engine load conditions. Most modern engines now need exhaust gas recirculation to meet emissions standards. However, recent innovations have led to the development of engines that do not require them. The 3.6 Chrysler Pentastar engine is one example that does not require EGR.