Diesel exhaust fluid (or DEF) has been a mandate for large highway vehicles since 2010—helping to reduce the pollution emitted by trucks and buses by as much as 90%. But did you know that these same regulations are set to extend beyond highway vehicles? In fact, they already have.
The EPA and DEF
DEF is an additive used in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. The need for such a product all started in 2001 when the EPA (The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) announced that all large diesel-run trucks and buses would have to start using SCR in order to reduce the pollutants caused by diesel-exhaust emissions. This mandate was to begin with all 2007 vehicle models moving forward. Ever since this time, SCR systems have been the norm for long-haul trucks and commercial buses. However, the EPA doesn’t plan to stop there.
As of 2014, this same regulation now applies to off-highway vehicles too. Off-highway vehicles include anything operating an industrial or large-scale diesel engine. This would include things like construction vehicles (dump trucks, backhoes, bulldozers), and agricultural equipment like tractors, combines, balers, and others. As you can imagine, such regulations will spread the need for good DEF management to industries that haven’t yet needed to consider it.
What’s more, the EPA’s plans will require the same of the railroad next year. By 2015, trains and other large rail equipment will need to incorporate SCR systems and will have reason to plan for the proper storage and management of DEF. In the following year, 2016, the marine industry will have to comply with all the same guidelines.
DEF Is Now a Precious Commodity
Thanks to the EPA’s move to reduce the pollution footprint these vehicles have on the air around us, we can all breathe a little easier. And in addition to this, the EPA’s decision has also made diesel exhaust fluid a precious commodity. From here on, any company responsible for large industrial vehicles will also need to be responsible for large amounts of DEF. Simply storing the quantity of DEF needed to run a diesel fleet can be challenging enough, but the concern doesn’t only involve space.
When storing DEF, you also have to make sure it maintains the temperature needed to function properly once it’s in the SCR. DEF density is at its best viscosity between 12-72 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep DEF in its optimum temperature range, you’ll need a solution that can insulate your product, preventing freezing or overheating. Keep in mind that as these regulations move forward, managing your DEF storage effectively becomes imperative to operational consistency. In the end, caring for your DEF will directly affect your bottom line.