32.5 percent high-purity synthetic urea and 67.5 percent deionized water make up diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). At 9.08 lbs. per gallon, DEF is slightly heavier than water (versus 8.34). It’s a transparent liquid with a little ammonia smell, despite marketing names like AdBlue and Blue DEF. Although DEF has a freezing point of 12 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to use if frozen and thawed because both urea and water freeze and thaw at the same rate. In severely cold temperatures, most vehicles include a DEF heating system to keep them operating. DEF is transformed to ammonia when pumped into the exhaust, which subsequently breaks down NOx into nitrogen and water.
What does DEF fuel look like?
Modern diesel engines require Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) as an emissions control liquid. It’s sprayed into the exhaust system. Diesel fuel does not contain DEF. It’s a 32.5 percent urea solution in 67.5 percent de-ionized water that’s non-hazardous. DEF is colorless and clear, and it resembles water. It has a faint ammonia odor, similar to several household cleaning products. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology use DEF to eliminate hazardous NOx emissions from diesel engines.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced new emissions rules in January 2010, requiring medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to cut engine emissions, particularly NOx and particulate matter, by a significant amount (PM). SCR is used by vehicle makers to achieve these requirements. DEF is sprayed into the exhaust, where it uses a sophisticated catalyst system to break down NOx emissions into nitrogen and water. As a result, most new diesel trucks, pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans now contain SCR technology and a DEF tank that must be replaced on a regular basis.
The EPA established emission guidelines in order to improve air quality. NOx and PM emissions have been linked to a variety of health issues, including respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, asthma flare-ups, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and reduced lung function. The EPA estimates that the pollution rules will save $70.3 billion by 2030 by preventing 8,300 premature deaths, more than 9,500 hospitalizations, and 1.5 million work days missed due to illness.
SCR is a “aftertreatment” technology, which means it removes hazardous pollutants after they have been produced by combustion. This allows engine makers more flexibility in tuning engines to boost fuel efficiency and output. SCR car owners benefit from increased reliability and longer oil change intervals, which add up to significant operational cost savings throughout the vehicle’s lifetime.
What happens if you put DEF in diesel fuel?
To meet EPA pollution rules, most new diesel trucks are fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems that utilise diesel exhaust fuel (DEF).
What is a SCR system?
A catalyst reacts with engine exhaust to break down ecologically hazardous exhaust components in the SCR system. Injector nozzles, in a nutshell, spray controlled dosages of DEF into the exhaust. The DEF vaporizes and decomposes into ammonia and carbon dioxide, which mix with the nitrogen oxide in the exhaust to produce the harmless nitrogen and water byproducts.
First of All
DEF fluid is only for vehicles with the SCR system, therefore don’t try to use it on an earlier truck. Although this may seem self-evident, uninformed owners and even well-intentioned service station attendants and technicians at non-diesel shops have mistakenly assumed that because DEF is so wonderful for new diesel trucks, it must also be good for older diesel trucks.
Despite the fact that measures have been put in place to keep diesel fuel separate from DEF, it still happens: DEF is placed into the diesel tank by accident, or diesel is poured into the DEF tank by accident. When this happens, it’s more than a little annoyance: it can result in major damage and pricey repairs.
A fill port, a tank, and lines from the tank to the SCR and injection nozzles make up the DEF system. The dispensers should be properly labeled, and the DEF tank’s fill port, which has a blue cap, is designed to be smaller than the diesel tank’s fill port, preventing the diesel nozzle from being inserted into the DEF tank’s fill port.
Non-DEF chemicals are detected by SCR systems, which include built-in warnings. If non-DEF enters the SCR catalyst, the driver will receive a warning and a code indicating approaching SCR interruption.
What Happens If I Put Diesel into a DEF Tank?
Because diesel is lighter than DEF, it will float on top of it. If it gets inside the SCR catalyst, it can cause substantial damage, necessitating service or, worse, a (expensive) catalyst replacement. Before replenishing the DEF tank, it should be drained and thoroughly cleaned with deionized water. A single teaspoon of a foreign contaminant can contaminate a full tanker load of DEF.
What Happens If I Put DEF into a Diesel Tank?
You remove the fuel cap and open the fuel filler door, and your brain goes into automatic mode.
Putting DEF in the diesel tank is a simple error that could result in a truck being towed to the junkyard.
Because DEF is made up of urea and water, the entire tank of fuel becomes contaminated right away. Long-term implications will ensue if the engine is started and the diesel and DEF combination is introduced into the engine.
The DEF fluid crystallizes once the engine is started, causing irreversible damage… and the repair might cost as much as $12,000.
DEF corrodes and damages a variety of metals, including carbon steel, brass, aluminum, copper magnesium-nickel, and zinc.
How do you test for DEF in diesel fuel?
This test will reveal the amount of DEF that is present in free form in diesel. This is a PASS/FAIL assessment.
One test tube with ten test strips and one transfer pipette are included in the kit.
“Free water/DEF” must be present in your sample. On the bottom of the container, you must be able to observe the separation between the gasoline and the water or DEF. This may necessitate the collection of a large tank bottom sample.
1. Take one test strip from the package and place it in the test tube with the colored end down.
2. Fill the test tube 3/4 full with the fuel sample using the supplied pipette, which should contain fluid from the bottom of the bigger container.
3. Place the cover on the test tube and hold it upright while visually inspecting the test strip. In a few seconds, the water will transform brown to pink, and the DEF will turn BLUE.
4. You have ten tests to complete. To comply with your local codes, you can discard the gasoline sample and the test strip, but keep the test tube and pipette.
What does DEF look like?
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is an acronym meaning “exhaust gas recirculation.” Most manufacturers relied on EGR to comply with the first set of pollution standards in 2004 and 2007. Exhaust gas is cooled and regenerated through the engine in an EGR system. The cylinder’s combustion temperature is decreased, which reduces NOx output. However, because to the lower efficiency of the operating temperature, the cooler combustion creates more particulate matter. Furthermore, the engine is not running at its optimal combustion temperature, resulting in decreased fuel efficiency and engine output. An SCR system has the advantage of allowing the engine to operate at greater temperatures in order to improve performance while also lowering NOx levels.
SCR has a number of drawbacks, the most significant of which are logistical. DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) must be added to the system as needed by SCR; consumption rates are determined by engine usage. DEF’s distribution infrastructure is still in its infancy, and while DEF is available in many spots around the country, it may be more difficult to obtain for operators in isolated areas. Because the new SCR systems take up more space on the chassis, bodybuilders and upfitters may have difficulty working around their packaging.
SCR system maintenance is simple and may be done at the same time as regular chassis maintenance. DEF filter replacements will most likely be measured in years rather than months, and will take only a few minutes.
The answer to this question will differ depending on the vehicle’s manufacturer and year. New instrument gauges and indications have been introduced to most vehicle dashboards and on-board displays. If the SCR is permitted to operate without DEF, the vehicle will display a gradual series of warnings and indicators, as well as performance losses. For further information, go to your OEM’s website (a list of OEM links is available on this site).
At high temperatures, DEF’s shelf life begins to deteriorate. It will progressively begin to create minor amounts of ammonia if kept at or above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For further information on correct DEF handling in severe temperatures, contact your DEF supplier.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is an acronym for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. It’s made up of 32.5 percent chemically pure Urea and 67.5 percent deionized or demineralized water. It’s a non-hazardous, unregulated solution. It’s also known as NOx reduction agent AUS32 or AdBlue, both of which are widespread in Europe.
No, DEF is injected into the exhaust stream of a diesel engine. It’s kept in its own tank, which is normally right next to the diesel tank. To identify it as DEF, it usually has a blue cap or other blue sign (whereas diesel is often associated with the color green).
No, DEF is a stable, non-toxic liquid that does not require the use of a DOT-approved hazardous material placard to transport.
DEF weights about 9 pounds per gallon. DEF is a somewhat hefty product as compared to diesel fuel, which weighs around 7.05 pounds on average, and gasoline, which weighs about 6.19 pounds on average.
DEF should last a minimum of one year if stored between 10 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although DEF has a freezing point of +12 degrees Fahrenheit, it can still be utilized once it has thawed.
I’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of DEF purity. How can I tell if my DEF is pure and compliant?
The only way to tell for sure is to take a sample and send it to a laboratory for analysis. Many manufacturers, on the other hand, have gotten API (American Petroleum Institute) certified, which is a voluntary program that monitors DEF quality. Remember that DEF is a colorless, transparent liquid. If your DEF container has any color, haze, phase separation, or sediment, this should raise an urgent red alert.
Since 2006, SCR has been employed across Europe and has an established track record. In Europe, almost 600,000 SCR vehicles are in use, with more coming on the market every day.
No, DEF is a highly purified mixture of high-purity urea and deionized or demineralized water. To keep the product from clumping when dry, agricultural grade urea contains chemicals like formaldehyde.
No, Off-road diesel engine manufacturers are starting to embrace this technology early in order to fulfill EPA emissions limits in 2013 and 2014 and beyond. This leads to applications in locomotives, tractors, boats, and seagoing vehicles.
SCR technology has been reported to boost fuel efficiency by 4% to 9% by allowing diesel engines to operate at more efficient temperatures, in addition to the obvious environmental benefits.
Urea is a nitrogen molecule that, when heated, converts to ammonia. It is extensively used as fertilizer in agriculture.
DEF, on the other hand, will not “The metal of many storage containers (such as aluminum) will leach into the DEF and contaminate it, causing harm to numerous goods.
There are much more materials that are incompatible with DEF than there are materials that are. In the building of DEF equipment, stainless steel and DEF certified poly are regularly used materials. ISO 22241 specifies the materials that can be used in the storage and manipulation of DEF. The transfer and distribution of the Diesel Exhaust Fluid must be done with specially formulated DEF hose.
DEF is usually sold by the gallon, and prices in this new market have been volatile. Because the buyer is paying for the packaging as well as the commodity, packaged items (shelf goods) are frequently more expensive per gallon than bulk (from dispensers). DEF costs between $2 and $5 a gallon in Europe, where the market has had time to mature and distribution is more established.
Initial estimates put the consumption rate between 2% and 3%. For every 100 gallons of diesel fuel burned, for example, 2 to 3 gallons of DEF will be consumed. However, results will vary according on the engine make and model, and off-road vehicles may consume DEF at a higher rate while also gaining more fuel economy.
For on-road cars, we’ve seen tanks with capacities ranging from 4 to 28 gallons. The size and location will differ depending on the brand and model. For larger off-road vehicles that burn more fuel, larger tanks will be required. DEF tanks are built of poly or stainless steel that has been approved for use with DEF.
What is the best way to get rid of DEF that isn’t on the list?
Although DEF is not a dangerous material, you should consult your local government, municipal government, and environmental organizations to determine the right disposal technique. Your local water treatment facility and department of health and environmental control are two examples of these agencies. Also, for more information, contact your DEF provider.
Around DEF equipment and containers, I observe a white, chalky residue. Is this typical?
Yes, the urea returns to its solid, concentrated condition as the liquid evaporates from the DEF solution. (Think of salt water that has been allowed to evaporate, leaving a salt residue behind.) Sediment and other built-up deposits can be removed with a simple deionized water wash. This residue is commonly seen in nozzles.
DEF is available in a number of packaging options and bulk dispensing devices. Packaged foods, or what are usually referred to as “junk food,” are the smallest of these “Jugs.” The most prevalent packaged products sizes are 1 and 2.5 gallons, which are available at most truckstops and dealerships around the country. 55 gallon barrels are the next level up, which can be refilled or not. Hand pumps and electric drum pumps can be installed on top of the drums to dispense the product at a rate of 4-8 gpm. DEF is stored and transported in totes with capacities of 275 or 330 gallons. Pumps for dispensing are provided that mount on top or to the side of the tote. A digital flow meter is frequently included with tote pumps.
Can you use pee as DEF?
We’ve been hearing a really disturbing comment regarding Diesel Exhaust Fluid over and over again.
Fill in the space with any animal you can think of; we’ve heard it all, including bat and cow urine most recently. We’ve also heard stories about people who believe that urinating in their DEF tank will start their engine. So, a widespread misunderstanding concerning Diesel Exhaust Fluid is that it is formed of urine. This is not the case, and acting on this assumption might cost you thousands of dollars in SCR engine repairs. This blog will shed some light on the matter, and we will finally dispel this misconception once and for all.
Those who believe in this myth claim that they arrived at that conclusion using logical reasoning, so:
Urea is an organic chemical molecule that is created by the body as a waste product after protein metabolization. However, it was German scientist Friedrich Wöhler who created the technology for synthesizing urea in 1828. The process of manufacturing urea by dehydrating ammonium carbamate under high heat and pressure was developed in 1870. Yes, you can get urea from urine, but let’s look at why Diesel Exhaust Fluid isn’t just pee and water.
The material data sheets of both automotive grade urea and human urine will be compared.
- “Human urine is an aqueous solution of greater than 95% water, with the remaining ingredients, in order of decreasing concentration,” according to wikipedia. 9.3 g/L urea, 1.87 g/L chloride, 1.17 g/L sodium, 0.750 g/L potassium, 0.670 g/L creatinine, and other dissolved ions, inorganic and organic substances.” The full description may be found here.
- At a concentration of 32.5 percent, automotive grade urea is used in Diesel Exhaust Fluid. 0.3 percent Biuret maximum, 0.5 percent magnesium maximum, 0.5 percent calcium maximum, 0.5 percent phosphate maximum, 0.5 percent iron maximum, 0.5 percent potassium maximum are all present in this urea.
- Chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine, and other dissolved ions are also found in human urine.
The water used to make Diesel Exhaust Fluid must be de-ionized and de-mineralized, which is a process that can only be accomplished by a highly specialized filtration system.
We can deduce from all of this information that, while urine contains urea, it is not in the correct concentration or purity. Urine water is also high in ions and minerals, making it poor quality water.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid is made out of de-ionized water and highly concentrated urea.
The Diesel Exhaust Fluid specifications are fairly detailed and can be found here.
I hope this blog was helpful in demonstrating the distinctions between urine and Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Please do not urinate in your DEF tank; it will destroy the SCR system, which will cost thousands of dollars to fix.
We specialize in offering the highest quality Diesel Exhaust Fluid at Transliquid Technologies.
What Diesel engines require DEF?
We get a lot of questions about DEF and how to use it effectively on your forecourt, so we asked the expertise of Danny Seals, a forecourt solutions expert, to provide us with some simple answers.
What is DEF?
DEF is a urea-water solution that is injected into the exhaust stream of diesel automobiles to convert NOx gases (harmful emissions) into nitrogen and water. Vehicle manufacturers introduced a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to meet EPA emissions limits in 2010. This is a strategy to achieve the requirements without sacrificing engine performance or fuel economy. DEF isn’t a fuel additive, and it’s kept in its own tank.
Who needs DEF, why?
DEF is required for medium and heavy-duty vehicles equipped with diesel engines manufactured after 2010. To meet emissions rules, the vehicle is configured to inject DEF into the exhaust stream. The engine performance will be diminished and lower speeds will be imposed if the vehicle is allowed to run out of DEF.
What are the different delivery modes of DEF?
DEF is available in a variety of forms. A driver can purchase jugs/containers in a variety of sizes. This necessitates the driver physically transferring the DEF into the car. When installed, DEF can also be dispensed into the vehicle using a fueling dispenser.
Which retailers should offer DEF and what indicators can they use to decide?
Because there is such a vast population of automobiles on the road, DEF is an excellent product for all c-stores to offer. Retailers who sell diesel at their gas stations can utilize the volume sold to estimate the number of diesel customers they have. DEF is required by the majority of today’s heavy-duty trucks. Locations with a separate large truck filling station might think about putting DEF in the dispensers. Because they buy DEF in quantity to keep in their tanks, this results in higher profit margins. Some places that sell a lot of diesel on their forecourt should also consider a dispenser option.
How can Gilbarco help retailers get into DEF?
Since the inception of DEF requirements, Gilbarco has been the industry leader in DEF dispensers. Over the years, we’ve worked with large stores to provide dispenser functionality, and we’ve established the industry standard for this service. Gilbarco assists merchants in entering the DEF dispensing market by providing factory-installed options and retrofitting existing dispensers where DEF is stored in bulk.
Will a small amount of DEF in diesel tank?
Owners and operators of trucks must not allow even a trace of DEF to enter their diesel tanks. The diesel fuel system will be contaminated as a result of this. DEF is a urea and water solution. The densities of diesel fuel and water-based DEF are not compatible.
What neutralizes DEF fluid?
That’s why, starting in 2010, all diesel trucks were required to have systems dedicated to putting DEF to use. Diesel Exhaust Fluid, which is made up of 32.5 percent urea and 67.5 percent de-ionized water, is sprayed into a vehicle’s exhaust system to aid in the breakdown of NOx emissions, converting them to harmless nitrogen and water. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Urea is a type of urea. You’re on the right brainwave if that sounds oddly like ‘urine.’ When a body metabolizes protein, it produces urea, an organic molecule. (We do, in fact, excrete it as pee.) However, despite DEF’s moniker, “Diesel Exhaust Fluid is really constructed of commercial-grade ureasynthetic ammonia and carbonand is referred to as “pig urine.”
To put it another way, the urea and water in DEF heat up and produce ammonia. The NOx emissions are subsequently neutralized as the ammonia breaks down. The tail pipe emits fewer harmful substances, allowing everyone to breathe a little better.
Is DEF bad for diesel engines?
While the water and urea mixture is excellent for the environment, it can cause crystals to form, which can clog fuel filters, damage aircraft engines, and cause engine failure. DEF is sprayed directly into exhaust systems and should never be used as a fuel additive, diesel or airplane.
How do you know if DEF is bad?
6. Take Care When Handling
DEF is not toxic, dangerous, combustible, or explosive to humans or animals. While it is safe, it should be handled with care to avoid spillage, contact with the eyes, or unintentional consumption.
Cover and confine a spilled liquid on the floor with an absorbent, non-combustible material such as sand. Remove the material using a shovel and place it in an appropriate container. If DEF is spilled in a sink, on a vehicle, or on clothing, or if it gets into the eyes, flush it out with water right away.
7. Collaborative Effort
The proper maintenance and management of DEF is not just the responsibility of one person; all members of the company’s staff should be knowledgeable of the essentials.
It’s a good idea to appoint someone to oversee the DEF careplan, such as a fleet manager, who can educate and remind technicians, operators, and other employees about best practices.
Here’s how to figure out if DEF has been polluted or degraded, as well as what to do about it.
Looking at faulty DEF is the simplest approach to spot it. Because the fluid is naturally clear, it is tainted or old if it appears hazy or tinted. Contaminants, such as microscopic particles, bigger boulders, or dirt, will be seen.
Do not attempt to use DEF if it has gone bad. Dispose of it as soon as possible and in an ethical manner. DEF should not be poured down the drain or dumped outside. Check with your local government, municipal, and environmental agency to see whether there are any DEF disposal rules in place.
Taking the time to properly care for DEF can prevent it from becoming contaminated or degraded, saving more than simply the cost of the wasted DEF. Following these seven suggestions is a smart place to start if you want to keep your good DEF from going bad.