Supplier of AdBlue
What is AdBlue?
AdBlue® is an ultra-pure solution of urea in demineralised water, used in the latest generation of commercial diesel vehicles for the removal of Nitrous Oxide (NOx), an environmental pollutant.
Euro 4 emission regulations introduced from October 2006 further limited the amounts of Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and particulates that commercial diesel vehicles could emit. These limits reduced again with the introduction of Euro 5 in October 2009 and will again in the future.
To reach these standards, the majority of truck manufacturers have chosen the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system as a common solution. The fuel for the SCR system is called AdBlue®.
The good news for vehicle operators is that by using the SCR system the engine can be tuned for maximum fuel economy, extracting every last drop of energy from the fuel…giving a fuel saving that should be more than enough to cover the cost of the AdBlue.
To protect vehicle operators from expensive catalyst replacement costs which can be caused by contamination, the vehicle manufacturers specify that only Urea solution produced to DIN70070 should be used in the vehicle.
Urea….what is it?
Urea is an inorganic compound that occurs naturally in the human body, as such it is harmless. However, for commercial use including AdBlue® production, Urea is produced synthetically from Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide. Its main use is in fertilizers and chemical manufacture, but it is also found in everyday products such as hair conditioners, skin creams, food and adhesives.
How much AdBlue will I need?
AdBlue consumption depends upon the driving conditions and load as the harder the engine is working the more NOx there is to remove. The dosing rate is controlled by the engine management system.
- Euro 4 Euro 5
Heavy Duty Use (35—44 tonne) 4% 6%
Medium Duty Use (20-32 tonne) 2% 3%
Light Duty Use (6-18 tonne) 1% 2%
The above figures are % AdBlue use when compared to diesel for the same vehicle and are based upon both our fleet and also customer experience. Your own consumption will vary depending on driving conditions.
I have been offered ‘unbranded’ AdBlue, what is it?
Beware of suppliers offering ‘unbranded’ AdBlue, claiming it is the same but just their ‘version’. It is likely to be no more than technical grade Urea solution, containing (amongst other things) anticaking agents and metal salts, both of which irreversibly damage catalysts by blocking the active sites. If in doubt you should always ask for a detailed test certificate that shows the product has been analysed to DIN70070 or ISO22241.
The AdBlue trademark is your guarantee that what you are putting in your vehicle’s tank will not cause damage to the catalytic converter.
Can I make my own AdBlue?
Commercially available technical grade or fertilizer grade urea is not suitable for the production of AdBlue and the use of such can irreversibly damage the catalytic converter and reduce engine power. The small cost saving that could be achieved is not worth the risk when replacement catalytic converters could cost up to £7000.
Is AdBlue a fuel additive?
No. The AdBlue is stored in a separate tank and dosed into the exhaust gas. Special nozzle systems are available if you have concerns about your drivers cross fuelling.
What is the most economical way to buy AdBlue?
This depends on the number of vehicles operating. If there are only a few vehicles then IBCs or drums will be more economical than a fixed storage tank. Cans are always the most expensive way and are intended for short term or emergency use only. You can get a better price for AdBlue by either buying more or by committing to take an agreed volume over a period.
Will AdBlue be available at filling stations?
AdBlue is slowly being made available at filling stations as the number of SCR vehicles increases, however it will always be most economical to have facilities at your depots.
How does AdBlue work?
The AdBlue is sprayed into the exhaust gas between the engine manifold and catalytic converter, where it is hydrolysed by the heat of the exhaust stream into Ammonia. The Ammonia reacts on the catalyst surface with Nitrous Oxides to give harmless Nitrogen and water vapour.
Do I have to buy SCR vehicles?
No. Although SCR is the system that has been adopted by the majority of manufacturers there is an alternative system, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). EGR cools and recirculates a portion of the exhaust gas into the intake air. This reduces the oxygen content of the intake air, resulting in a lower combustion temperature. EGR usually uses an additional particulate trap to remove soot, formed from the partly burned fuel as a result of the engine being tuned to reduce emissions, rather than for optimized fuel consumption.
What about oil changes?
Your truck supplier will be able to advise further on this. As the SCR system is a cleaner and less aggressive system some manufacturers have increased the time between oil changes.
What will happen if I run my vehicles without AdBlue®?
This is not recommended and could cause warranty problems with your truck supplier. Onboard diagnostics are fitted to SCR vehicles which measure NOx levels at the exhaust. Running without AdBlue will cause the NOx level to be above tolerance and the engine power will be de-rated until the NOx level falls i.e. when AdBlue is filled up. This will also happen with EGR trucks if the NOx level is too high, meaning that the vehicle will need to be taken to a service centre.