How to Properly Store Diesel Exhaust Fuel?

When there are several operators and drivers operating SCR vehicles, advising them on how to handle and store diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is a good idea to make they avoid misfueling and contamination. Here are some tips on how to safely store diesel exhaust fluid.

Some Facts about Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, is a non-toxic, non-flammable, and environmentally safe urea based chemical used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in vehicles, particularly trucks, to reduce nitrogen oxide, or NOx, emissions. The fluid is made from raw fossil fuels like natural gas, coal, and several other petroleum based products. These products are made by dissolving high purity urea in de-ionized water. A small amount of DEF is injected into the exhaust and travels upstream in a catalytic converter, where the fluid vaporizes and decomposes to form ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia then converts nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water.


Diesel Exhaust Fluid Containment

Diesel exhaust fluid should be stored in tightly sealed containers that are kept clean. Containers can be made with single or double wall steel tanks that hold up to 30,000 gallons of DEF. When stored properly, DEF has a shelf life of roughly 1 year. Never add any foreign matter, solid or liquid, to the containers. When topping off diesel exhaust fluid transfer tanks equipment like funnels, jugs, and other diesel equipment because the containers usually have nozzles attached to dispense the fluid easily. Protective clothing isn’t necessary when handling small amounts of DEF, though some people might need to wear gloves to prevent rashes or other adverse reactions due to sensitive skin conditions.

Rules for DEF Storage

There are some simple rules that need to be followed to keep diesel exhaust fluid from being compromised. When DEF gets spoiled or contaminated, the SCR system of a vehicle will perform less effectively and several components can be damaged. To prevent this, put the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) into the diesel exhaust fluid tank, and never add anything like water or diesel fuel. Always use DEF storage containers and refilling equipment that complies with AST, EPA, and NFPA regulations.

Make sure the seals to diesel exhaust fluid transfer tanks and storage containers are intact to prevent spillage. Use demineralized water to keep all equipment and containers clean and primed. Remember to wear protective clothing and or gear when handling large quantities of DEF because there is danger of spilling. If any Diesel exhaust fuel that gets spilled on the ground, in a vehicle, or on paintwork needs to be washed immediately with water. Keep DEF out of sunlight and below 30 degrees Celsius to prevent decomposition. IF DEF freezes (at temps -11 degrees Celsius or below), gently warm the container til the fluid has melted. If DEF gets overheated, cool the fluid down by spraying the sealed container with water.


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