When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposed the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) in diesel engines back in 2010, diesel truck aficionados, long-haul truckers, and fleet managers all panicked for a moment.
Why? Adding diesel exhaust fluid to diesel automobiles was a must since that’s what makes SCR operate, and owners of diesel vehicles had no choice. And, who enjoys paying additional money? No one is the answer to that.
Once engine manufacturers figured out how to use and make the engines still reliable with DEF and SCR, the reality was that they weren’t all that bad. The drastically reduced emissions made the hassle of topping off an extra tank of liquid every now and then kind of worth it, despite the cost of the fluid itself.
Read on for our full breakdown of how to streamline your DEF intake and keep your tanks full.
What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)?
DEF is a non-hazardous mixture of 32.5 percent urea and 67.5 percent de-ionized water used in diesel exhaust fluid systems.
Spraying DEF into diesel engines’ exhaust pipes converts nitrogen and water from harmful NOx emissions. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) is a system you may find on many diesel pickups and SUVs from 2010 and later model years.
Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is not a fuel additive and never comes into touch with diesel. As a result, you need to keep it in its own tank, with a blue filling lid.
What Exactly Is This SCR Thing All About?
Using a catalyst system, SCR technology breaks down harmful NOx emissions from diesel engines into nitrogen and water. SCR systems rely on a continual ammonia gas supply for their chemical reactions.
Ammonia is delivered in automotive applications using a urea solution known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). A sophisticated injection system sprays DEF into the exhaust stream, which a catalyst subsequently converts to ammonia.
Nitrogen and water are byproducts of the ammonia’s breakdown of diesel engine NOx emissions.
Approximately How Much DEF Will My Vehicle Use?
The “dosing rate” or “treat rate” of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) consumption is the ratio of diesel fuel usage. Dosing rates for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles range from 2% to 3%.
This indicates that a vehicle with a six mpg fuel economy and a 3 percent dosing rate will need around 1 gallon of DEF every 200 miles. Several fleets have reported that the actual dosage rate is between 2.0 and 2.5 percent, lower than the makers had promised.
What Will Happen if the DEF in My Vehicle Runs Out?
The EPA mandates that automakers take steps to ensure that their cars cannot operate without Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). A sequence of warnings appears on a vehicle’s dashboard before the DEF tank runs out (much the same way as if they were running low on diesel).
When the DEF tank level dips below 10%, an amber warning lamp will come on; at 5%, this lamp begins to strobe, and at 2%, a solid amber warning light shows up.
When your engine power drops, you’ll see a solid red warning, and the vehicle’s speed is restricted to 5 mph until the DEF tank is full.
The Consequences of Filling Your DEF Tank With Diesel
There are many measures to keep the filler necks of diesel and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) from being confused.
You cannot place the diesel nozzle into the DEF tank because the average nozzle diameter for DEF is 0.75 inches (19 mm), whereas the diesel nozzle has a 0.87 inch (22 mm) diameter. In addition, the DEF tank’s filling cap will be blue and prominently labeled with the ISO standard number and the phrase “Diesel Exhaust Fluid.”
And in order to avoid damaging your SCR system, we urge that you call your dealer immediately and stop driving the car.
Adding DEF to the diesel tank will cause the engine to shut down instantly, and the car will need to be sent to a repair shop.
Understanding the Cost of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
There are many factors that influence the price of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), including your location, supply method, and the amount you buy.
A 55-gallon drum costs the highest per gallon, followed by a 275-gallon tote and a 330-gallon container. Packaged supplies are the least costly per gallon.
The most cost-effective method of purchasing DEF is in bulk amounts that are supplied directly to fleet terminals. Truckstop businesses sell DEF at the pump. By switching from a truck stop to a tote supplier, you may save 30% on your current expenses.
This is the point in time where you’ll want to rely on great business partners like Fuel Logic wholesale DEF delivery.
Proper Use of DEF Storage Tanks
If you’re looking to store Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), you may choose between 1.5 and 2.0 gal containers. DEF may be stored in tanks ranging from 50 to 16,500 gallons in height and 35 to 5025 gallons in volume.
For DEF applications, we provide double-wall tanks and cone bottom tanks in addition to vertical and horizontal DEF tanks. Exhaust fluid may be kept at the proper temperature by using heat trace and insulation.
For their DEF requirements, you can go for custom-molded, 6-foot-tall aluminum platforms for elevated storage tanks (300 or 500 gallons).
DEF Fill Up: Taking Advantage of Direct to Equipment Refill
One of the key responsibilities of a fleet manager is figuring out ways to keep any fuel costs as low as possible. Thankfully, when it comes to DEF, we hope that our guide has shed some light on using storage tanks and partnering with a supplier as a simple way to save money.
And, if you’re interested in learning more about other cost-saving strategies, you should check out our business section for all the additional tips and explainers you could possibly need.
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