Diesel Exhaust Fluid has become more and more of the trucking world’s life. Just a couple of years ago, who even heard of this stuff. Now, all of your major truck stops like Pilot Flying J, Love’s Travel Centers, Travel Centers of American and many other truck stops are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per location to be able to handle diesel exhaust fluid. Since all new trucks since 2010 with SRS technology must have diesel exhaust fluid to operate, it will almost be as popular at a truck stop as diesel fuel.
With all of this being said, we thought it would be a good idea just to go over some of the basics of diesel exhaust fluid. We are here to help if you have any questions about DEF of other diesel fuel related items.
1) What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid?
Diesel Exhaust Fluid or DEF is a high purity chemical solution containing 32.5% urea mixed with high purity deionized water.
2) What is urea?
Urea is the active ingredient of Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Urea is created from synthetic ammonia and carbon dioxide when subjected to high heat and pressure and can be produced as a liquid or solid. Synthetic urea is used mainly in fertilizers but is used in plastics, animal feed, cleaning agents, and pharmaceutical applications.
3) What would I use Diesel Exhaust Fluid ( DEF) for?
Diesel engines are required to meet stringent emissions requirements in 2010. Many diesel engine manufacturers have chosen a technology called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to meet these requirements. When added to the exhaust gases Diesel Exhaust Fluid reduces the NOx to the EPA required levels. If you purchase a car, truck, tractor or any diesel powered product with SCR technology it will require Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
4) Do I add this fluid to diesel fuel?
No, Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) should not be added to the diesel fuel tank. Vehicles manufactured with SCR technology are designed with a separate urea tank to hold Diesel Exhaust Fluid. The fluid is sprayed into the exhaust system.
5) Is DEF a hazardous material?
No, Diesel Exhaust Fluid is classified as a non-hazardous product.
6) How often will refueling of DEF be required?
The consumption rate of DEF is between 2-4% of the diesel fuel consumption. For example, for every 100 gallons of diesel fuel consumed, between 2 and 4 gallons of Diesel Exhaust Fluid will be automatically injected into the exhaust system. A typical diesel truck could go about 300 miles on one gallon of Diesel Exhaust Fluid. The refueling interval will depend on the size of tank you have.
7) Does DEF have a shelf life?
Yes. The shelf life will depend on the temperature at which product is stored, however product older than one year is not recommended to be used.
8) Is this product affected by temperature?
Yes. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) will begin to crystallize at 12 degrees F. It can also lose its potency if stored for prolonged periods over 86 degrees F.
9) What about freezing on the vehicle?
Diesel equipment has heated tanks and supply lines that are designed to freeze and thaw with no performance issues.
10) Will DEF fluid be harmed if it freezes and then thaws?
No, the urea and water will not separate or lose its strength.
11) How do I obtain DEF?
Most trucking companies or private fleets will find Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) available truck stops, card lock locations where you buy diesel fuel. Other fleet vehicles might have to buy it in a variety of package and dispensing solutions.
12) How much does DEF cost?
That will depend on where you buy your Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Truck stops have a competitive price and ease of use. If you have the need for a large tank of DEF you will be able to buy it cheaper than you would at Love’s Travel Centers, Travel Centers of America ( TA), Pilot Flying J but not as convient for when your driver are filling up with diesel fuel at those locations. For those companies that can’t buy it at a truck stop, the package and dispensing solutions might be a little more expensive.