Does Diesel Exhaust Fluid Freeze?

DEF, whether in storage tanks or equipment, can freeze and cause problems. When temperatures dip below 12 degrees Fahrenheit, DEF begins to crystallize and ceases to function properly.

What is the freezing point of diesel exhaust fluid?

When diesel fuel is exposed to freezing temperatures, it may gel, but DEF can freeze solid. Even the greatest diesel exhaust fluid can freeze, so it’s crucial to understand what this means for your DEF system and how to keep it safe. In the winter, frozen DEF can completely halt your trucking business, so make sure your fluid is warm and ready to pump all year.

Average Freezing Point

The freezing point of DEF is typically 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 degrees Celsius). Because of the area in the fluid, this is lower than the freezing point of water. DEF’s water does not separate as it freezes, unlike several other mixes and solutions. This means that freezing and thawing small amounts of frozen DEF in a large container will have little effect on the fluid’s concentration or performance. What difference does it make if it freezes or not? The ability to pump DEF into your truck’s selective catalytic reduction, or SCR, system may be hampered by frozen DEF. It can also cause cracks in or damage to your truck’s or property’s holding tanks.

Lack of Flow Due to Freezing

The last thing you want to deal with when you turn on your DEF pump or pick up a container to dump DEF into your truck’s SCR system is a block of ice. Any ice in your truck will melt as it warms up.

DEF is currently in the truck-mounted reservoir, however if your DEF is frozen solid, you won’t be able to fill it up for a long haul.

This makes it impossible to transport DEF from a container to your truck. Trying to heat the fluid too quickly can lead it to become extremely hot, putting the region at risk. Due to pollution concerns, you can’t run your trucks without DEF, so this circumstance may prevent you from running commercial diesel vehicles in cold weather without suitable storage.

Damaged Containers Due to Expansion

Without the correct heating system, DEF containers might freeze solid and expand dangerously. Because this fluid can expand by up to 7% of its liquid volume, you should plan on keeping it liquid or leaving room for expansion in a tank.

If you’re looking for the greatest storage tank, make sure it’s made of stainless steel or HDPE plastic. These materials can assist lessen the possibility of expansion damage while also preventing damage from DEF’s mild corrosive nature.

A broken container can be quite costly. This will not only necessitate the purchase of a new container, but it may also expose your DEF to direct sunlight or toxins. This can result in decomposing urea or tainted fluid, both of which can render your SCR system inoperable. One of the most crucial tasks in safe DEF handling in cold weather is to avoid a cracked container.

What is the best way to winterize DEF fluid?

A polyethylene DEF tank is positioned inside the front enclosure of the FST Series Trailers. To winterize these DEF systems, follow these steps:

1. Connect the DEF hose female quick connector to the DEF auto shut-off nozzle’s male connector.

2. Set the DEF pump to “Trailer Fill” mode. Allow the pump to run for 30 seconds while pressing the nozzle handle. WHILE THE PUMP IS RUNNING, disconnect the quick coupler from the nozzle. The DEF fluid will be ejected from the nozzle as a result of this action. Cover the dust with a dust cover.

3. Turn the pump off by pressing the “Off” button.

4. Connect the DEF hose female quick connector to the Micro-Matic RSV coupler’s male fast connector. Connect the RSV coupling to the FST DEF tank’s RSV valve.

5. Select “Trailer Fill” on the DEF switch. For 2 minutes, run the pump. The fluid will be drained from the pump and pipework as a result of this action.

6. Turn the DEF pump off by pressing the “Off” button.

7. If the fluid level is not above the maximum fill line, the FST DEF tank can freeze and expand.

If the fluid level in the tank is higher than the maximum fill line when it freezes, the tank will be damaged.

Is there a DEF fluid component that prevents it from freezing?

Adding any type of additive to DEF to avoid freezing is not suggested because it will hinder the fluid from working as intended. Use of contaminated or non-manufacturer approved DEF could lead to expensive after-treatment system repairs.

DEF is made up of 67.5 percent de-ionized water and 32.5% pure urea. This ratio is crucial because it gives the fluid the lowest potential freeze point.

Is it possible to store DEF outside during the winter?

If DEF shipments and bulk storage must be stored outside, they should be maintained indoors in temperature-controlled facilities, or in heated sheds or tanks. Examine the date of expiration. Because urea is susceptible to photochemical breakdown and severe temperatures, DEF’s storage life is varied.

At what temperature does DEF begin to freeze?

DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) is a type of diesel exhaust fluid. DEF, whether in storage tanks or equipment, can freeze and cause problems. When temperatures dip below 12 degrees Fahrenheit, DEF begins to crystallize and ceases to function properly.

How cold does diesel have to be before it gels?

  • Gelling: It’s unusual to have a situation where the fuel practically turns to jelly. Gelling happens when the paraffin wax in diesel solidifies due to a drop in temperature, and the fuel’s temperature must be kept below minus 10 degrees F for extended periods of time, such as 48 to 72 hours. When diesel is cold soaked, the paraffin wax in the fuel hardens, giving it a hazy look. At temperatures as high as 32 degrees F, the fuel will begin to cloud, but it will continue to flow. Before the fuel can gel, it must be kept at a very low temperature for an extended period of time. It’s common to hear drivers complain about their fuel gelling up, but this is almost certainly not the issue they’re having. Ice or solidified paraffin wax in the fuel filter is more likely to be the issue. There’s more on that later.
  • Cloud Point: To determine the cloud point of a sample of diesel fuel, which is the temperature at which the naturally present paraffin wax in #2 diesel fuel begins to crystalize, there are recommended methods. The fuel has a hazy look due to the microscopic particles of suspended hardened wax. Cloud point temperatures for diesel fuel typically vary from -18F to +20F, but can reach +40F depending on a variety of factors relating to the base stock and refining operations. The cloud point of so-called winter diesel fuel (#1 diesel or kerosene) is substantially lower since it contains relatively little paraffin. Fuel distributors will test the product and, if required, may include the results in tenders and delivery receipts.
  • The temperature at which a liquid loses its flow properties is known as the pour point. The pour point of diesel fuel changes according on the wax content in the fuel, which varies depending on the source of the base stock, the refining process, and the type and quantity of additives added to the fuel during refining or distribution. The difference between the cloud point and the pour point is always there, with the latter often being 2 to 20 degrees cooler than the former. To establish the pour point of a fuel sample, certain tests must be performed. Bulk providers, as previously stated, can supply this information.
  • When diesel fuel is cooled, the cold filter plugging point is a measurement based on a standardized test that indicates the rate at which it will flow through a standardized filtration equipment in a given amount of time. The CFPP is the point at which the sample fails to pass through the filter in the time allotted.

When DEF fluid freezes, what happens?

DEF, which is made from a combination of technically pure urea and purified water, freezes at 11 degrees Fahrenheit and -11 degrees Celsius and must be stored and delivered properly to retain its quality, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

DEF, like water, expands up to 7% when frozen, and if the storage tank is full or almost full when it freezes, it might cause harm. In chilly weather, it’s a good idea to keep your DEF tank below half-full.

If DEF freezes in the machine, API recommends not adding any chemicals to the tank to help it melt. DEF must remain pure in order to function properly. Instead, while the machine is running, the heating element in the DEF tank will thaw it. On-spec DEF is designed to allow the fluid to defrost at the correct concentration to maintain a machine running properly.

Does DEF cause Duramax to freeze?

The renowned Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel has been improved to provide more horsepower and torque than ever before. This tried-and-true powerplant gets the job done while being more environmentally friendly.

When compared to the 2010 model, the upgraded Duramax features the most up-to-date pollution control technology, resulting in a 63 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. GM engineers found that using a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system with Diesel Exhaust Fluid was the best approach to achieve this amazing reduction in diesel emissions (DEF).

Because it treats the vehicle’s exhaust after combustion, the SCR system is classified as an after-treatment system. The following is how it works:

  • While the engine is running, a fine mist of DEF is pumped into the exhaust.
  • DEF is converted to ammonia by the heat from the exhaust.
  • NOx emissions are broken down when ammonia, combined with exhaust gases, hits the SCR catalyst.
  • During regeneration cycles, the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) catches soot and incinerates it.
  • The exhaust system emits water vapor, nitrogen, and decreased emissions.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-flammable fluid made up of 33% ammonia-based urea and 67% purified water. DEF is a chemical that is used in diesel engine exhaust systems to reduce emissions by converting nitrogen oxide (NOx) to nitrogen and water vapor. DEF technology has a long track record in Europe, where it has been utilized for many years.

DEF is used by the SCR system at a rate of 1 to 1.25 percent of the diesel fuel used by the vehicle. A full tank of DEF gives you around 8,000 kilometers of driving range. Range will vary depending on driving circumstances because DEF is directly tied to fuel consumption.

A 5.3 gallon (about 20L) DEF tank is situated under the passenger side of the cab. The DEF tank fill point, as well as other fluids that require regular maintenance, is conveniently positioned beneath the hood. A blue cap easily distinguishes it. REMEMBER NOT TO OVERFILL THE DEF TANK.

Depending on the storage temperature, DEF has a shelf life of at least one year. It’s preferable to keep it at room temperature and away of direct sunlight. Small DEF spills can be cleaned up by absorbing the liquid with dry dirt, sand, or another non-combustible substance, then scooping it into a container for disposal. Although DEF is not classified as a hazardous waste by the federal government, please dispose of it properly. Do not pour this material or its container down the drain; instead, dispose of it in accordance with all applicable local and national rules.

When it comes to maintaining a proper DEF level, this technique eliminates the need for guesswork. An electronica onboard warning system displays a number of warnings in the Driver Information Center to assist you in maintaining proper DEF levels, as well as to inform you if the DEF quality is inadequate or if the system is malfunctioning. The electronic onboard warning system and its warning signals are described in detail in the Duramax owner’s manual supplement.

When the DEF level is about 1,500 km remaining range, the electronic onboard warning system will send a message to the driver. As the DEF tank gradually empties, additional messages that must be acknowledged inform the driver at the 500 km, LOW, and 0 km fluid ranges. For the vehicle to run properly, the fluid level in the DEF tank must be maintained. The mechanism will inform the driver if the DEF tank is let to run dry. If no fluid is added before the next vehicle start, the vehicle’s speed will be limited to around 88 km/hr, and eventually to 7 km/hr, as required by federal regulations.

To remove the car from any speed restriction, always add at least 4 L. The system resets itself after being refilled, so no service visit is required. The DEF level warning may take up to 30 seconds in park or several kilometers of driving to refresh.

The tank and DEF system are designed to freeze in cold climates because DEF freezes at around -11 degrees Celsius. Even if the DEF is frozen, the vehicle will start normally. The DEF fluid is thawed in a second tank within the DEF tank that is heated at 270-minute intervals while the engine is running. This cycle was initially 90 minutes, which caused some freezing issues with trucks that were left in cold areas for long periods of time, but the new program increases it to 270 minutes to guarantee that enough DEF is circulated to keep the truck running at peak performance. The leftover DEF in the bigger tank is heated and thawed with the help of residual heat from this internal tank. Do not overfill your DEF tank since freezing causes the fluid to expand, which can harm the tank.

Is it possible to keep DEF fluid outside?

Store Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) between 68F (20C) and 23F for the longest shelf life (-5C). DEF should not be exposed to direct sunlight. If DEF is kept outside, it must be kept out of direct sunlight. If DEF is exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time, it will begin to lose its urea potency.

Is it true that a block warmer keeps DEF from freezing?

Freezing has no effect on defensibility (It is unchanged after it thaws). The urea-to-water ratio in def was chosen to allow for easy freezing and thawing. The def tank is not warmed by the block heater.