How does Diesel Exhaust Fluid work?
Diesel engines, like other engines, emit exhaust particulates while running. A normally tuned diesel engine will leave a small amount of fuel not burned completely and will produce soot. The less oxygen the engine has, the more fuel and soot becomes present in the exhaust. The unburned fuel and soot are both pollutants.
Running a diesel engine in a lean burn configuration can burn off all the fuel and cut the amount of soot significantly. With a lean burn configuration, the amount of air brought into the engine is higher than in a normally tuned engine. The extra oxygen in the air helps burn the excess fuel which consumes the soot.
Unfortunately, the extra oxygen leaves behind its own byproduct: nitrogen oxides. These oxides pose a hazard to both the environment and humans. It can damage the ozone layer of the atmosphere and cause lung damage to people and animals when inhaled.
Does Diesel Exhaust Fluid reduce Nitrogen Oxides?
To reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides, modern diesel engines use a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. This system adds a catalyst to the diesel exhaust, which reacts with the nitrogen oxides and turns a good deal of them into harmless compounds.
One such catalyst is diesel exhaust fluid, a solution of urea and water. As the fluid vaporizes in the exhaust, the urea breaks down and becomes ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia catalyzes the nitrogen oxides and produces water and nitrogen as a result. These are harmless when released into the environment.
How do you handle and store Diesel Exhaust Fluid?
Here are a few things to remember when handling and storing diesel exhaust fluid:
- For the most part, diesel exhaust fluid is safe for humans to handle. However, it is corrosive to certain metals and must be kept in a container made from non-reactive materials, like high density polyethylene.
- Diesel exhaust fluids are extremely easy to contaminate. Foreign compounds can interfere with the catalytic reaction and may even produce toxic emissions. It is critical that the fluid is kept pure and clean.
- SCR systems are tuned to work best with the 32.5 percent urea ratio in diesel exhaust fluid. If an excessive amount of water evaporates from the fluid, this can make the percentage of urea higher which will reduces its efficiency in the SCR.
Who can use Diesel Exhaust Fluid?
All 2010 or newer Class 8 trucks and 2014 off-road equipment require DEF. Diesel Exhaust Fluid helps highway diesel trucks and other vehicles meet the EPA’s emissions standards.
Large fleets with higher capacity tanks use Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Truck stops are an example of a retail business that supplies DEF.
Who supplies Diesel Exhaust Fluid Supplies?
Many facilities that handle diesel fuel also handle diesel exhaust fluid. If you want to learn more about DEF or talk to someone about other fuel needs, contact us here at Innovative Fueling Services. We supply DEF-specific hoses and nozzles as well as DEF storage and dispensing systems. Contact our company today to learn more about how your business can benefit from DEF.