• Tips for Handling and Storing DEF

    Contamination can lead to SCR system malfunctions so it’s important that DEF be kept free of other fluids.

    DEF, short for diesel exhaust fluid, is a concentrated urea solution used to reduce the output of nitrogen oxides from modern diesel engines. Before the invention of engines equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR), diesel engines released substantially more harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Thanks to DEF, the nitrogen oxides produced by combustion of diesel fuel can be transformed into the elements ammonia, water, and nitrogen, which are comparatively harmless.


    All truckers and truck maintenance professionals should keep a steady supply of diesel exhaust fluid on hand, as modern engines won’t run without it. Read on to find out about how to store and handle DEF to avoid contamination.


    Shelf Life


    The shelf life of products like BlueDEF and others is around two years. Temperature can alter its expected shelf life, though. If the fluid temperature falls below 12 degrees Fahrenheit or rises above 86 degrees Fahrenheit, it can wind up causing premature degradation.


    Fluid Contamination


    Contamination can lead to SCR system malfunctions so it’s important that DEF be kept free of other fluids. Use approved containers that are designed specifically for storing DEF and don’t ever put other fluids into these containers. If a tank, pump, hose, or nozzle has been used to store or move other fluids in the past, don’t use it to store or move DEF.


    Approved Containers


    It’s important to use only clean containers that have been specifically approved for storing or transporting DEF. These containers are generally made of certain types of stainless steel or plastic and are often equipped with insulation and ventilation to maintain an adequate temperature range. The importance of using only approved containers that have never been used to store or transport diesel fuel, oil, or other fluids cannot be overstated.


    Skin Contact


    Handlers should try not to let DEF come into contact with their skin, more for the DEF than for themselves. It is very sensitive to chemical impurities, so it must be handled carefully. When handlers accidentally spill DEF on themselves, they can simply wash it off their skin with water since it’s non-hazardous and non-flammable, but any fluid that has come into contact with skin, clothing, or other solutions will no longer be viable for use in fleet vehicles.


    Where to Buy Supplies


    It’s important to buy not just DEF itself but also storage containers, shipping containers, and accessories like hoses, pumps, and nozzles from a reliable supplier. Check out PEAKHD online today to learn about one company that can help.