Great questions are coming in; here is one regarding DEF shelf life. Q.- Should we be concerned about the shelf life of DEF and how do we handle that? One customer is getting ready to stock it in a 275 gallon IBC tote for his new diesel truck.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid is a mixture of 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. While it does freeze at 12o F (-11o C), low temperatures do not cause the DEF solution to degrade. Regardless, it is recommended that DEF be stored at temperatures above its freeze point so it is ready for use at all times.
High temperatures, on the other hand, 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 23o F and 86o F (-5o C and 30o C) and that it be placed away from direct sunlight.
Light vehicle DEF reservoirs are typically sized so they will only require refilling around the time that the engine oil is changed. DEF consumption, however, generally follows fuel consumption and will increase if the vehicle is driven at high speeds and/or loads. Higher rates of DEF consumption may require the operator to refill the reservoir before the next oil change is performed. When refilling vehicle DEF reservoirs, it is important to use the correct funnel to prevent overfilling. DEF expands when it freezes, and this will damage the reservoir if it has been overfilled.
NOTE: DO NOT put DEF in the vehicle’s fuel tank. This will result in immediate engine damage!
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires the vehicle manufacturers to put measures in place to ensure that the DEF reservoir is not allowed to go dry and that it is refilled with the correct fluid. The vehicle provides warnings to the driver when the DEF tank is at a low level, and renews these warnings as the level continues to drop. If the driver ignores the warnings, the vehicle’s engine will eventually derate to the point where it won’t come off idle or it may not start.
Happy Trucking !!
The TransLiquid Team
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