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DEF Contamination

You may already know the importance of DEF quality, and how a closed loop system is one of the best ways to preserve diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) purity, but you may not know what happens when DEF is contaminated. DEF Contamination is one of the major problems facing our industry, since there hasn’t been a lot of education on the matter for distributors or end-users. The proper handling and care of DEF will prevent DEF contamination, and the requirements for DEF are unique.

While DEF is colorless, non-hazardous, and non-flammable, it is sensitive to chemical impurities. For this reason, it is imperative that DEF be handled carefully to prevent any sort of contamination, which is why you want to rely on companies like Victory Blue that always have their product in spec. Remember that DEF is much more likely to be damaged by the materials it touches than it will be to cause damage.

Packaging

To prevent DEF contamination, the pumps and containers used for DEF must NOT be used for any other type of fluid. Additionally, anything that the DEF goes through like tanks pumps, hoses, and nozzles, must not have previously been used for any other products. Carbon steels, copper, copper-containing alloys, and zinc-coated steels should not be used to contain DEF because DEF is corrosive to them. This can result not only in the corroding of these containers but also the contamination of the DEF.

Contamination

Causes

There are many ways that DEF can become contaminated. For example, one could use the wrong type of material to store the DEF. One could also not use clean equipment, or use an open loop system. Both of these actions would allow for a higher risk of DEF contamination. If the water used in the solution isn’t properly deionized or distilled, it can create severe problems. Additionally, the use of the wrong form of urea would also result in a contaminated form of DEF or an overly concentrated form which would be highly problematic.

Results

The contamination of DEF can result in a malfunction of the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. Additionally, it can cause damage to the catalysts and result in a system failure. This is why the limits for impurities are set so low. Contaminated DEF can possibly void your warranty and shut your equipment down. The monetary costs of using contaminated diesel exhaust fluid usually run in the tens of thousands of dollars in both repairs and downtown. Thus, it is important to follow the proper handling procedures and use a DEF brand that you trust.

Prevention

To prevent contamination of DEF, the urea concentration must be 32.5% by weight. Additionally, one cannot use urea granules that are intended for use in agriculture. The water used to create the solution must be deionized or distilled. Additionally, manufacturers and distributors should use a closed loop system, which provides tampering evidence and an integrated container valve that is sealed and secured throughout the service life of the container. Victory Blue provides a closed loop system and a quality product.

You should use a company that you can trust to help educate you on the proper handling techniques and procedures of DEF to prevent any contamination. Victory Blue is happy to provide educational material to our distributors and we’re proud to present a product that has never been out of spec. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.