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Diesel Exhaust Fluid - Quick Facts

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Posted in: | Written by: Justin Morin | Posted on: Tuesday, September 04, 2012

With the demand for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) on the rise, we have plenty of customers asking for quick facts about this innovative product. Here are some very important notes about DEF that can save you both time and money:

    1.    Do not store DEF outdoors
DEF has a limited shelf life that is influenced by temperature. Storing DEF at 80°F will reduce its shelf life to just 12 months while keeping it at 60°F can extend integrity to 36 months!

    2.    DEF can only come into contact with titanium, rubber, plastic, and stainless steel
These are the four materials recommended for use when handling DEF. Some materials to avoid would be copper, brass, nickel, and epoxy resins. 

    3.    Storing DEF in petroleum equipment can compromise product integrity
It is recommended to only use chemical equipment when handling DEF as petroleum equipment can contain unknown residue. 

    4.    Repurposing tanks for DEF is not possible
DEF requires dedicated equipment. A tank that has previously held any other product will contaminate DEF. 

    5.    DEF is not a fuel additive
DEF is used in combination with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. It is sprayed into the exhaust and combines with a catalyst to break down NOx (a harmful pollutant) into nitrogen and water. 

    6.    Batch testing at every level ensures product integrity
DEF should be tested through every step of handling. If a contamination occurs, batch testing allows for pinpointing the source and ensuring no contaminated product is used. 

    7.    Freeze/thaw will not affect DEF
Although temperature will affect the shelf life of DEF, freeze/thaw will not. DEF is stored in a tank that is wrapped in heating coils; this allows for rapid thawing of the product on engine ignition. 

    8.    Color change in DEF is a clear indicator of compromised product
The easiest way to determine whether DEF has been compromised is through color comparison. DEF should always remain the same color- and if you notice a different hue in your tank then you have contaminated product. 

    9.    Compromised DEF cannot be restored to its original state
No filtration process can restore DEF to its original integrity- making it increasingly more important to ensure a clean supply chain. 

    10.    DEF should be delivered by thoroughly trained drivers
If a driver is untrained in the characteristics of DEF, “creeping” or “leaching” of the product can occur. Although non-toxic, DEF can leave white crystals behind when exposed to air and can be unsightly around the tank.

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