Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) – What is it used for?

Diesel exhaust fluid is used to bring trucks, construction equipment, generators and other diesel powered engines into compliance with environmental laws and regulations put into effect in order to reduce potentially harmful NOx emissions.  DEF is a harmless chemical which converts NOx into nitrogen, which is harmless, using a process called selective catalytic reduction (SCR).  Through SCR, DEF is injected in the exhaust system of diesel engines.  More specifically, diesel exhaust fluid reacts with engine exhaust to reduce NOx to harmless nitrogen and water.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) – What kind of chemical is it?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-hazardous compound, compromised of urea (32.5%) and de-ionized water (67.5%).  DEF is heavier than diesel fuel; it weighs 9.1 pounds per gallon.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) – How much DEF is required per gallon of diesel fuel?

You may be wondering how much diesel exhaust fluid you will use.  The answer depends on what you are using it for.  For example, with respect to trucks, you would typically be expected to consume about three gallons of diesel exhaust fluid for every gallon of diesel fuel that you burn.  However, the answer is different for construction equipment, generators, trains and other diesel powered engines.  The consumption rate is higher though on generators, locomotives and off-road equipment and may be as much as 5% of your diesel fuel consumption.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid – Delivery Options

There are many ways for you to buy diesel exhaust fluid, depending on your consumption rate and needs.  Diesel exhaust fluid is available in containers ranging from 2.5 gallon jugs all the way up to 330 gallon totes.  For companies with higher consumption, we can even install a bulk DEF storage system for you.  Most companies needs can be met with 2.5 gallon jugs, 55 gallon drums or 330 gallon totes.  Other companies, especially those who use mobile fueling for the truck fleet, prefer to outsource DEF delivery to a DEF delivery company.  Those who use mobile fueling for diesel fuel quite logically prefer mobile fueling for DEF.  Another advantage of outsourcing the fueling function is that when you use mobile fueling, you outsource the product handling to DEF experts.  Although DEF is not harmful or corrosive, it is subject to contamination so if you use an open container to transfer DEF say from a drum into your vehicle or equipment, you run the risk of dirt or debris getting into your DEF supply resulting in clogged filters and downtime for your vehicles and equipment, usually at the worst possible time.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid – Tips and Helpful Hints

Storing Diesel exhaust fluid • You should store DEF in a cool, dry, well ventilated space.  You also should prevent your DEF supply from coming into contact with direct sunlight.  Like a vampire, diesel exhaust fluid does not like the sun.  Diesel exhaust fluid also does not like the cold.  It’s cold blooded and thus requires warmth.  Store it in a heated warehouse if possible.  DEF doesn’t live very long; indeed it will degrade after a year or two, depending on how well you do in storing it within the guidelines above.  We offer DEF supply in many sized containers, eliminating the need for you to maintain a large inventory of DEF.   Do not let your DEF tank get below 1/4 or you will notice that your trucks or equipment are not performing well.  An indicator light may alert you if your DEF levels are too low, but you should have someone check the DEF tank each day if possible.  As far as consumption, your DEF usage may range from 2% to 5% of diesel fuel consumption, depending on your application.  DEF is not inherently harmful.  Indeed, it is not subject to DOT Hazmat regulations and is not treated as a hazardous material.