The marketplace for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in the U.S. has increased dramatically since 2010 emissions regulations went into effect. DEF is used to treat the exhaust of engines running selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to meet the requirements. Experts believe DEF consumption will double this year to between 140 million and 150 million gallons. If you've got questions about this latest technology for your fleet, you're far from alone.
Chad Dombroski, director, Air1, Yara North America, notes that customers are asking many questions. Concerns about purchasing the correct amount of DEF to contain costs and locations where over-the-road drivers can find the additive are first on the list. “If using or buying DEF is new to a customer, we help figure out what makes the most sense from a cost/practicality standpoint based on the number of vehicles in their fleet, the amount of diesel consumed per week, and storage capabilities,” Dombroski says.
“To help our customers locate retail DEF, the Air1Mobile Locator App for iPhone and Android [devices] allows customers to search by city, state or zip code; calculate distance to the nearest DEF location; and view the retailer's address,” he adds.
Air1, which is the brand under which Yara sells DEF in the U.S., is available at more than 600 public filling stations, truckstops, automatic filling stations, chemical distribution depots, and most major truck dealerships.
Customers are also asking about the practical aspects of DEF, including provisions to prevent accidentally pumping DEF into a diesel fuel tank. “The spout of DEF nozzles contains a magnetic interface that connects with the adapter inside the DEF tank, releasing the DEF,” Dombroski says. “If a customer tries to put the DEF nozzle in the diesel fuel tank, which doesn't have the magnetic mis-filling adapter, then no DEF will be released.”
Dombroski adds a few words of advice for fleet owners when dealing with DEF:
Protect it from fuel, oil, grease, water, dust, dirt, metal and detergent contamination. If the equipment needs to be cleaned or rinsed internally, use de-mineralized water or DEF. Don't use tap water.
Use dedicated DEF equipment for storing and dispensing. Don't use funnels and bottles used for other fluids. Don't refill previously used DEF containers.
Store DEF between 12 and 86 deg. F to maintain its optimal shelf life of 12 months. Do not store DEF in direct sunlight.
At Terra Environmental Technologies (TET), which produces TerraCair, the marketing and selling of DEF is like any other product.
“The TET/TerraCair customer is looking for the same things as any customer buying any product: quality, reliability, availability, product, and performance integrity,” says John Beumler, marketing manager. “Once we've satisfied the customer that we can address these four areas, we can discuss sizes, prices, and build a long-term relationship.”
For availability, customers want to know they won't have delivery hiccups or backorders and TET is able to meet their growing DEF demands, Beumler says. “Our customers have a direct link to the manufacturer. CF Industries, TET's parent company, is the leading urea producer in North America. We have dedicated tonnage tied directly to TerraCair and the DEF market.
“Tankers of TerraCair are delivered to our small-pack packagers to fill the 1-gal. and 2.5-gal. jugs you see on the shelves,” Beumler adds. “However, before we off-load that very first shipment at TerraCair's small-pack packagers, our quality team certifies each location to the ISO22241 International DEF standards. Similarly, when we off-load a 5,000-gal. tanker or stainless steel rail car, we perform the same internationally mandated quality training and check-off processes before TerraCair is filled into totes, drums or storage tanks.”
At Old World Industries, Charles Culverhouse, DEF equipment business manager, advises customers to watch for products that don't meet their individual needs.
“Many of our customers are looking for more cost-effective DEF storage and dispensing solutions. There are a multitude of systems in the marketplace, but many are over-engineered for the application as well as overpriced,” Culverhouse says. “We have teamed with manufacturers to produce custom solutions that are more cost-effective as well as meet our customers' needs.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THESE WEBSITES:
Old World Industries
Terra Environmental Technologies (TET)
Yara North America