AdBlue® is a trademarked brand name for DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) – a solution used within the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system in modern diesel engines. A highly-purified mixture of water and urea, AdBlue® passes through the SCR system during operation, and converts potentially harmful NOx emissions in exhaust gasses into a mixture of water vapour and nitrogen. This system was been developed to help reduce air pollution created by modern vehicles and to meet Euro VI emissions legislation.
Over the past 20 years, European legislation has transformed our vehicles and the impact they have on the environment.
By defining a series of emissions targets for all new vehicles sold in the EU, the legislation has compelled Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek new ways to filter and reduce harmful emissions. Exhaust after-treatment systems have been one of the most prominent types of solution adopted.
Three main after-treatment systems have been developed. All three systems work in different ways to reduce emissions, and each has a different impact on your fleet’s performance and maintenance requirements.
EGR – Exhaust Gas Recirculation System
NOx is created when nitrogen and oxygen combine at high temperatures. The EGR system recirculates old exhaust gas to reduce the temperature in the engine cylinders, resulting in a reduction in the level of NOx produced.
DPF – Diesel Particulate Filter
As the name suggests, a DPF works as a sieve to filter out the particulate matter (soot) from the exhaust. This soot builds up on the filter, and therefore needs to be periodically ‘burned off’ to maintain the efficiency of the system.
SCR – Selective Catalytic Reduction System
In an SCR system, Diesel Engine Fluid (aka DEF or AdBlue® - a mixture of purified water and urea) is injected into the SCR catalyst. The fluid reacts with the harmful NOx emissions to create nitrogen, water and carbon dioxide – reducing emissions by up to 95%. Vehicles with SCR systems need to replenish AdBlue® to continue to function. Often, sensors can prevent the vehicle from starting or running if an insufficient level of AdBlue® is detected.
As SCR systems are usually closed units, any deposits or contamination can result in a complete system failure, and require a full replacement. It is therefore crucial that AdBlue® is kept free from possible contaminates.
At Watson Fuels, we supply fully-licensed AdBlue®. This ensures that the product we supply has gone through tightly controlled manufacturing, handling and storage processes to meet the high specification set by the VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie – the German Automotive Industry Organisation, and owners of the AdBlue® trademark). These high standards are vital to protect your vehicles against contamination and potential damage to your vehicles’ SCR systems.
It is also important to continue these controlled processes after delivery, to help maintain the quality of your AdBlue®. Here are some simple steps that can help:
Always fill your AdBlue® tanks straight from the container in which your AdBlue® was supplied.
Never put any other fluid into an AdBlue® tank.
Only use an AdBlue®-specific dispenser or pump to dispense AdBlue®.
Do not dilute the product.
Only buy authorised AdBlue® solution.
If your vehicles are fitted with an SCR system then reliable supply of AdBlue® will be key to keep your fleet on the road and reduce your emissions. At Watson Fuels, we work in partnership with Brenntag the largest worldwide distributor of AdBlue®, to deliver high quality AdBlue® that meets DIN 70070 and ISO 22241 standards.
Our experienced team are dedicated to providing a reliable, efficient service and delivery. We have a range of pack, IBC and bulk-supply AdBlue® solutions to suit you. Our team will work with you to find the right supply solution for your business to help keep your emissions in control and your fleet on the road.
Each vehicle has a slightly different procedure when AdBlue® is running out so check with the manufacturer for full details.
As a guide, if AdBlue® is low the vehicle will first notify the driver. If AdBlue® is then left to run out, most vehicles will limit performance and will not restart when the engine has turned off.
AdBlue® is a synthetic, highly purified solution of urea and demineralized water NOT pigs urine. Whilst the chemical urea is in pigs’ urine, it is found in much lower concentration alongside many other elements. Using pigs’ urine (or any urine) instead of AdBlue® would cause irreversible damage to the SCR system in your vehicles.
No – AdBlue® is used in the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) systems of a vehicle which is separate to the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) system. AdBlue® reacts with harmful NOx emissions to create a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide.
DPF systems use a process called regeneration to remove buildup of particulates. This is when the system heats up to burn off any accumulated soot particles.
No - AdBlue® is used as part of a complex chemical reaction inside an SCR system. This system is incredibly sensitive and using anything other than AdBlue® from an authorised distributor could block the injector and damage the catalyst, leading to costly repairs.
The SCR system that AdBlue® is used in is incredibly sensitive. If diesel is put into the system, it will contaminate the catalyst and is likely to require a replacement catalyst.
If you have accidentally put diesel in your AdBlue® tank DO NOT start the engine or move the vehicle. The AdBlue® tank will need fully draining and cleaning before using.
As a mixture of demineralised water and urea, AdBlue® is clean, odourless and non-toxic. AdBlue® is not hazardous however as a chemical, it should be treated as per guidelines. AdBlue® is predominantly made of water and therefore is corrosive to certain metals. Whilst not toxic, AdBlue® is a pollutant and should not be allowed into watercourses. AdBlue® tanks IBCs and containers should all have protection in place to prevent spillages. Speak to our customer service team to find out about the right option for your business.