DEF FAQ

Diesel Exhaust Fluid Answers

We have answers to your Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) questions

We try to answer your most commonly asked questions about Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). If you don’t find your answer here, contact us and we’ll answer your questions and also post it here.

What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is one of the key elements involved in the SCR process. It is a nontoxic solution of 67.5% water and 32.5% automotive grade urea. DEF helps to convert NOx into nitrogen gas and water vapor. It is stable, non-flammable, odorless, and colorless.

What is Urea in DEF?

Urea is a compound of nitrogen that turns to ammonia when heated. It is used in a variety of industries, including fertilizer in agriculture. Urea is naturally occurring, but is also commonly made from natural gas.

How is Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) quality defined and guaranteed?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) quality is defined and guaranteed by AUS32 specifications which meet or exceed the DIN 70070 August 2005 quality standard, the DIN V 70071 June 2005 analytical standard and the ISO 22141-1 2006 standard. The American Petroleum Institute has developed a quality certification program that ensures North American supplies of DEF will meet these standards at the pump and across the nation, including standards of product manufacturing, handling, quality assurance, safety and environmental protection.

How does Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) work within an SCR system?

The goal of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) workig within an SCR system is to reduce levels of NOx (nitrogen oxides emitted from the engine) that are harmful to our health and the environment. SCR treats exhaust gas downstream of the engine. Small quantities of DEF are injected into the exhaust stream and when mixed with the NOx changes into a harmless nitrogen and water mixture.

Extensive testing has shown that SCR systems can exhibit a 4-6% fuel savings over standard engines and near zero emissions.

What is the shelf life and storage guidelines for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)?

The shelf life for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) should be kept in a clean environment and handled carefully to prevent contamination which could lead to damage of catalytic converters. In order to maintain DEF product integrity, the SCR industry has adopted strict standards for DEF manufacturing, blending, storage, dispensing and testing. The storage guidelines for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) are in the standards ISO 22241-1, ISO 22241-2, and ISO 22241-3.

The DEF solution is temperature sensitive, therefore when stored in extreme temperature environments, DEF must be housed in a climate controlled building. When stored between 12 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, DEF shelf life is approximately 12 months.

DEF can only be stored in stainless steel, coated carbon steel, or in a specific high density plastic container. Materials specifically not recommended include non-ferrous metals and alloys (copper, aluminum, magnesium, silver, zinc, lead), solders containing non-ferrous metals, and nickel-coated plastics and metals.

Why do I have to use an SCR system with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)?

You have to use an SCR system with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), as part of the Clean Air Act of 1970. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that all on-road diesel vehicles manufactured January 1, 2010 or later must be equipped with technology to reduce NOx emissions. All diesel vehicles from class I to class 8 are included in this requirement.

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What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump describes fuel refilling stations where DEF dispensing is available. Much like diesel dispensing, some locations offer DEF dispensing on an island, allowing you to conveniently dispense DEF directly from the dispenser to the DEF tank on your truck.

What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) used for?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is the solution used in the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system on most 2010 and later model year trucks and diesel engines. DEF is a non-hazardous solution made up of 32.5% pharmaceutical grade urea and 67.5% de-ionized water. It is released directly into the exhaust stream on diesel vehicles to reduce harmful NOx emissions by breaking them down into nitrogen and water. Per regulations set by the EPA in 2010, SCR systems are required on all new manufactured diesel engines.

How long does Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) last?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) can last for up to two years if properly stored. Shelf life can be drastically reduced if DEF is exposed to direct sunlight or if the temperature of the fluid rises above 86 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time.