A method of treating exhaust from an internal combustion engine having an emission reduction device, such as a lean NOx trap. Exhaust from the engine is directed to a first sulfur trap, which treats the exhaust and discharges exhaust that is substantially free of sulfur. The exhaust from the first sulfur trap is normally directed to the emission reduction device, but is diverted to a second sulfur trap when the first sulfur trap is saturated. During this diversion, a reducing agent introduced upstream of the first sulfur trap aids in purging the first sulfur trap and in reducing metal sulfates and metal sulfites in the first sulfur trap to hydrogen sulfides, which are then treated by the second sulfur trap. When the first sulfur trap is thus purged, the exhaust gas is again directed to the emission reduction device.
Gordon James J. Bartlet; Magdi K. Khair