Don't have a login? Register now to order Victory Blue.

lock and key

Online Ordering Login

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Victory Blue DEF Defined

This post also appears on on Fleet Risk Management‘s blog! You should check it out. Fleet Risk Management is a great company dedicated to providing insurance to the trucking industry!


Saving the Earth is no easy task. As portrayed in comic books, superhero movies, and TV shows, saving our planet always seems to take someone with extraordinary talents. But I would like to propose an extraordinary product that can do the job just as well as any superhero. That extraordinary product is Diesel Exhaust Fluid, or DEF. Perhaps you already know what DEF is, or maybe you can guess what it is from just this minor description. However, there’s so much that goes into DEF that people might not know. It’s always important to be aware of environmentally friendly products, especially ones like DEF that have such a large market. Fleet owners, OEMs, and anyone involved in logistics should know about DEF because it will soon (if it hasn’t already) affect everyone within the transportation industry.

The History

The decades of the 50s, 60s, and 70s were vital to the development of the Environmental Movement. In the 1950s, scientists began studying the environment as well as how humans affected it. These studies revealed a sad truth: people were damaging the Earth. Our actions weren’t intended to damage the environment, but our intentions don’t matter at this point. One of the major problems scientists discovered was the amount of pollutants emitted into the air from the exhaust pipes of cars. In particular, diesel engine cars were emitting large amounts of Particulate Matter (PM) and Nitrogen oxides (NOX). To counteract this environmental problem, the Clean Air Act was created and then signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963. The Clean Air Act was designed to control air pollution on a national level, which led to the development of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Since then, the EPA has been regulating the emissions of all vehicles, including those with diesel engines. To this effect, there have been amendments on the Clean Air Act and the EPA has consistently raised the standards to which diesel engine vehicles must comply. In January 2010, emissions legislation required diesel vehicles to significantly reduce harmful emissions of PM and NOX. This legislation led to the creation, production, distribution, and use of diesel exhaust fluid. DEF is required in heavy-duty trucks, pickups, SUVs, buses, and vans. Essentially, anything that runs on diesel needs or will eventually need DEF in order to comply with EPA regulations.

So what, exactly, is DEF?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid is an aqueous urea solution blended with 32.5% technical grade urea and 67.5% deionized water. It is used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to lower NOX concentration in the exhaust emissions of diesel engines.

How Does It Work?

SCR is used to reduce the amount of NOX released into the air by using DEF. SCR uses ammonia to reduce NOX to atmospheric nitrogen and water in the presence of a catalyst. If urea is used to supply the catalyst (ammonia), then the final products are nitrogen, water, and carbon dioxide.

How Do You Store It?

DEF has to be stored in special, specific containers because SCR systems are extremely sensitive to potential chemical impurities in the urea solution. That is why such great care must be taken when deionizing the water. Most contaminants get in the DEF solution from the deionized water. While DEF is clear, non-toxic, and safe to handle, it can corrode some metals. Diesel Exhaust Fluid is offered to consumers through a variety of quantities by manufacturers ranging from containers of it for single or repeated small usage to bulk carriers for consumers that require bulk amounts of DEF. It’s recommended that it be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area that is out of direct sunlight.

There’s always more to learn about DEF. If you have any questions or are looking to purchasing DEF, contact Victory Blue today!