FREEZE PROTECTION FOR IBC TOTE TANK

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and it’s time to consider how you are going to keep your IBC tote tank warm through the winter. Powerblanket tote heaters are an ideal solution for the freeze protection of your IBC tote tank.

 

Rather than panic in a couple months, prepare now to prevent your materials from freezing. IBCs are a valuable resource for decreasing customer costs through reduced handling, storage space and shipping expenses. They are easy to use, transport and recycle.

powerblanket-th275-275-gallon-tote-heaterYour IBCs may ship and store:

  • Bulk chemicals including hazardous materials or dangerous goods
  • Commodities and raw materials used in industrial production
  • Liquid, granulated, and powdered food ingredients
  • Food syrups, such as corn syrup or molasses
  • Petrochemical products, such as solvents, detergents, or adhesives
  • Rainwater when used for rooftop rainwater collection
  • Used IBCs are the basic building blocks for many home aquaponic systems

 

There are a few common sense strategies for keeping IBC tank totes warm: stacking them if you have multiples and/or keeping them indoors, if that’s possible.  However, even these strategies cannot guarantee freeze protection for IBC tote tanks with temperature sensitive materials.

Powerblanket® Tote Heaters maintain optimal heating conditions for temperature sensitive materials.

HERE’S HOW:

  • Distribute heat evenly around the tote
  • Designed to be durable and weather resistant
  • Provide easy access with a removable top
  • Include an adjustable thermostatic controller
  • Safely heat and protect a wide variety of chemicals and materials

Standard sizes  fit the IBC 250 gallon, 275 gallon (1,040 liter), 330 gallon (1,249 liter), 350 gallon (1,325 liter) 450 gallon, and 550 gallon totes. Also in 120 vac and 240 vac.

Let Powerblanket ease the stress of winter by helping you plan your IBC tote tank freeze prevention.

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DEF Freezing and DEF in Cold Weather

DEF Freezing and DEF in Cold Weather

The Polar Vortex is sliding down over the country.  Have you taken precautions to prevent DEF freezing in the increasingly cold temperatures swiftly approaching?  We have tips and guidelines to help you with DEF in cold weather.

Understanding DEF and SCR

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-hazardous solution, which is 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. DEF is sprayed into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles to break down dangerous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. NOx is an element in exhaust that has been blamed for acid rain, smog and raising the overall greenhouse gas levels of the planet.  DEF is not a fuel additive and never comes into contact with diesel. It is stored in a separate tank, typically with a blue filler cap. This system is called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).  SCR and DEF have been used for decades in other commercial and agricultural applications.

Storing DEF

DEF should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. The ideal storage temperature for DEF is between 15ºF and 65ºF (-9ºC and 18ºC). It should not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time as the urea will decompose. When possible, DEF packages and bulk storage should be kept indoors in temperature-controlled environments.  Use the right container. DEF is mildly corrosive, and should be stored in containers of HDPE plastic or stainless steel. 

DEF Expires

Check the expiration. The storage life of DEF varies. The urea is vulnerable to degradation from sunlight and higher temperatures. In favorable storage conditions (proper container, away from direct sunlight, temperatures between 15 and 65°F), DEF can maintain its qualities for about 12 months. 

Be Good to DEF

Handle it like fuel. Per EPA guidelines, vehicles using DEF must include sensors to continually analyze the quality of the DEF being consumed. These sensors will trigger a fault code whenever an imbalance is detected. Most commonly, this results from a higher percentage of water as a result of foreign matter, condensation or rainwater in the DEF storage container or during transfer.  The quality and integrity of DEF must be maintained for proper machine operation. It must be protected against evaporation and temperature extremes, and kept free of contaminants. Doing so could change DEF density, impacting its performance.

At what temperature does DEF freeze?

DEF, because of the urea, doesn’t have the freezing point of water. The urea mixture has a much lower freezing point of 12°F/-11°C. This solution doesn’t break into just urea and just water, either. The solution freezes at the same rate, and also thaws at the same rate. This means that at no point does the DEF freezing cause the solution to become over concentrated or diluted. DEF will begin to slush and then freeze.  There is no harm to the product which means that the urea solution is still safe to use if it has been frozen.

DEF Freezing and Expansion

Though it is safe to use again once thawed, expansion from freezing could cause problems.  Since DEF is a mixture of deionized water and urea, it reacts somewhat like water in that it does expand when frozen. DEF freezing usually causes about a 7% expansion. It is important to note that DEF freezing is usually taken into account when creating the packaging and tanks that are supposed to hold DEF. DEF packaging and tanks allow for expansion. However, one must be aware of the expansion of DEF when filling.  When storing equipment overnight or longer in temperatures that could result in DEF freezing, it is important to make sure the DEF tank on the equipment is not completely full or that it has an appropriate heat source. This will allow for expansion and help prevent cracking of the storage reservoir.

How to Prevent DEF Freezing?

DEF freezing was taken into account by the OEMs prior to creating the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems. Therefore, the SCR systems are designed to provide heating for the DEF tank and supply lines; however, if the vehicle is shut down and exposed to freezing temperatures, then it is likely that the DEF will freeze. Diesel owners do not need to worry about DEF interfering with their vehicle, however. If DEF freezes when the vehicle is shutdown, startup and normal operation of the vehicle will not be inhibited. In most cases, the SCR heating system will quickly thaw the DEF in order to return it to liquid form and resume normal operation.

Can Anything Be Added to Prevent DEF Freezing?

Many want to know if anti-gelling or freeze-point-improver can be added to the DEF mixture to prevent freezing. DO NOT put additives into the urea solution because DEF must remain pure. The quality of DEF is extremely important for proper performance. Adding any additives would damage its ability to perform correctly and could even result in damages to the SCR system. No additives are approved for DEF at this time.

DEF Tote Heaters from Powerblanket®

Powerblanket has a solution for DEF freeze prevention:  Powerblanket DEF Tote Heaters maintain optimal heating conditions for temperature sensitive materials.  Powerblanket DEF Tote Heaters are temperature specific for the Diesel Exhaust Fluid to protect from freezing and maintain optimal temperatures.

DEF Tote Heater Prevent DEF FreezingHere’s How

  • Distribute heat evenly around the tote
  • Fully enclose and heat the tote and pump housing unit
  • Designed to be durable and weather resistant
  • Easy access to fill with a removable top
  • Simple plug and play operation, temperature is automatically regulated
  • Safely heat and protect a wide variety of chemicals and materials
  • 330 and 275  gallon versions feature an easy to access flap to the pump
  • Heated wraps for customized DEF bulk storage tanks available upon request
  • Include a frame to easily enclose and heat pump and hose

 

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Sources

“DEF Freezing”. Victory Blue. 7 December 2016. govictoryblue.com/2013/10/23/def-freezing/

Discover DEF. 8 December 2016. www.discoverdef.com/def-overview/faq/#def

Caring for Your Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel Exhaust Fluid, known for short as DEF, is a precious commodity to anyone running diesel-powered vehicles these days. Ever since 1970, when the Clean Air Act went into effect in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken multiple measures to regulate exhaust from a myriad of vehicles. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the EPA started mandating diesel exhaust specifically.

 

2016-01-07 15_58_52-The Definitive Guide to DEFDEF: 1990 and Beyond

Since the inception of the EPA’s restrictions on diesel exhaust, DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) has become all the more important. Emission standards have become more and more restrictive over the last two decades, and today, diesel exhaust restrictions are applicable to all on-road and off-road vehicles.

With these new restrictions in place, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems are required to run diesel engines on any vehicle, whether a truck, a backhoe, or a combine. Eventually, these restrictions will also be enforced on water vessels. Essentially, with the EPA’s mandate in place, every diesel engine will eventually have to run a SCR, except for those built before the new regulations were in place.

Since SCR are a requirement of the present and future, DEF becomes nearly as essential as the fuel itself. And with DEF being as important as it is, it becomes imperative that you know how to properly store and care for it. DEF maintenance includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • How to use it
  • How to care for it
  • How to protect it
  • The challenges associate with DEF
  • Knowing the government regulations associated with it

You can learn more about all these matters and then some by downloading our free e-book through the link below.

DEF Guide

DEF Tank Heaters: Storage and Beyond

If you run any sort of diesel engine, then you know how important DEF is these days. You can’t do business without it. However, wintertime poses a real problem to storing DEF. Then again, storage is only half of the problem. What do you do with your DEF in transit? Or worse yet, what do you do when your engine isn’t running. Thankfully, we have the answer with our DEF tank heaters.

 

DEF Tank HeaterDEF Tank Heaters

Protecting your DEF in storage is very important, but like we said already, it’s only half the problem. Protecting your DEF from freezing temperatures once it’s in the truck tank becomes equally important. The transportation and commercial trucking industries know just how frustrating it is when DEF freezes in the truck tank.

This problem has been around since the inception of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). But innovative truck manufacturers solved the problem by running their coolant system through the DEF tank. And it worked too, as long as the truck was running. That’s the catch, you see. This type of DEF heating solution only works when the engine is running. After parking a truck overnight in cold weather, the DEF could freeze up entirely. What’s more, it could take as much as 30 minutes to several hours of idling to thaw out a DEF popsicle. Running the truck with frozen DEF will likely trip the sensors too, indicating a false reading within truck computer and adversely affecting its performance.

Instead of taking a chance with winter, and losing valuable time as a result, trucking companies can turn to Powerblanket for an innovative solution to this dilemma. Powerblanket has developed an insulated heating blanket designed to fit the DEF tanks installed in commercial trucks. These DEF tank heaters offer both insulation and regulated heat that will keep your DEF at the ideal temperature. The Powerblanket DEF tank heater is certified to national and international safety standards and is easy to install, remove, and reinstall.

With options for either AC or DC voltage and the choice of a ten or fifteen-foot cord, our DEF tank heaters are easy to apply on your truck and plug in to keep your DEF warm when the engine isn’t running. So put the worry of frozen DEF aside this winter, and reach out to us for your DEF tank heaters today.

 

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DEF and Urea Temperature Control

DEF and Urea Temperature ControlDiesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a mixture of 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water.  DEF freezes at 12o F (-11o C), but low temperatures will not cause the DEF solution to degrade.  Regardless, it is recommended that DEF be stored at temperatures above its freezing point so it’s always ready for use. Methods for heating and maintaining temperature in large totes, tanks, and containers can best be achieved with a Powerblanket DEF Heater.

High temperatures is where we run into problems with DEF degradation.  High Temperature will cause DEF to break down and can limit its shelf life.  DEF begins to decompose into isocyanic acid (ammonia) at temperatures above 122o F (50o C).  Diesel-powered vehicles that utilize urea SCR systems require fresh, uncompromised DEF in order to work correctly.  In order to limit DEF decomposition during storage, it is recommended that it be kept between 15º F and 65º F (-9º C and 18º C) and that it be placed away from direct sunlight.

Shelf Life

Shelf Life is a function of Ambient Storage Temperature. Listed below is a chart outlining the guide for shelf life based on ISO 22241-3 specifications.

..Temperature º F ..Temperature º C Minimum Shelf Life
< 50º F < 10º C 36 months
< 77º F < 25º C 18 months
< 86º F < 30º C 12 months
< 95º F < 35º C 6 months

Q & A

Q. How do I keep DEF from freezing and what happens if DEF freezes in the tank on my vehicle?
A. During vehicle operation, SCR systems are designed to provide heating for the DEF tank and supply lines. If DEF freezes when the vehicle is shut down, start up and normal operation of the vehicle will not be inhibited. The SCR heating system is designed to quickly return the DEF to liquid form and the operation of the vehicle will not be impacted. The freezing and unthawing of DEF will not cause degradation of the product.
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Q. Does DEF expand when frozen?
A. Yes, DEF expands by approximately 7% when frozen. DEF packaging and tanks are designed to allow for expansion.
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Q. How much DEF will a truck consume?
A. DEF consumption is expected to be approximately 2% of fuel consumption, depending on vehicle operation, duty cycle, geography, load ratings, etc.
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Q. What is the number of miles a truck can expect to travel on one gallon of DEF?
A. DEF consumption is directly related to fuel consumption. A truck averaging 6 MPG can expect to go approximately 300 miles on one gallon of DEF.
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Q. How can an operator determine how much DEF they will need/use?
A. DEF consumption will be approximately 2% of the diesel fuel consumed. Another way to consider it is that DEF will be consumed on a 50 to 1 ratio with diesel. (For every 50 gallons of diesel fuel burned, you will use 1 gallon of DEF).  If you know the average fuel consumption of a vehicle, you can easily calculate the amount of DEF that will be used.
Q. Is the DEF dose rate the same for all engine manufacturers?
A. The DEF dose rate will vary slightly amongst engine manufacturers. While most engines will have a dose rate of 2 percent of diesel fuel consumed, the dose rate will range from 1 percent to 3 percent.
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Q. What happens if the vehicle runs out of DEF?
A. Vehicles that use DEF will have indicators on the dash that will alert the driver of the quantity of DEF on board. A gauge similar to a fuel gauge will indicate the level of DEF. There will be a DEF low level warning lamp that will illuminate when DEF is low. If the vehicle is operated such that one would run completely out of DEF, vehicle power will be reduced enough to encourage the operator to refill the DEF tank. Once the tank has been refilled the engine will resume normal power levels
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Q. What is the recommend solution for temperature control of DEF at refilling stations and storage facilities?
A. Powerblanket DEF Temperature Control Shelters!
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