Storing Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)

What you need to know about storing Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)

Why DEF?

DEF was created as a nontoxic, nonflammable, and cost-effective solution to reduce emissions while retaining the power of a diesel engine. Urea, an organic compound, gives the fluid its safe and emission-reducing capabilities. DEF is injected into the exhaust system and reduces emissions by converting harmful gases into environmentally friendly gas and water vapor.

Storage Guidelines for DEF

While DEF is relatively easy to use, storing it and maintaining purity requires close attention. 

How to properly store DEF:

  • Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area, out of direct sunlight, preferably in a climate-controlled environment to extend its shelf life.
  • Optimum storage temperature is between 12°F and 77°F. When stored below 65°F shelf life is extended to 2 years. Temporary exposure to higher temperatures has little impact on the quality of DEF. 
  • Ideally, DEF should remain in a closed loop from the supply to machinery in the field. Do not reuse or refill open containers and avoid using incorrect dispensing materials such as metal funnels, steel transfer containers, incorrect pumps, seals, and fittings.
  • The easiest way to spot bad DEF is to look at it. The fluid is naturally clear, so if it appears cloudy or colored, it’s likely contaminated or old. Contaminates, including small particles or larger rocks or dirt will also be easy to see. If DEF has gone bad, do not attempt to use it.

Benefits of DEF

The simple chemical nature of DEF is important to maintaining a functioning performance system. By using it, a driver optimizes diesel performance while avoiding harm to the environment.

Benefits include:

  • Optimized combustion
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Increased power
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Fewer regenerations
  • Less wear on the engine
  • Safer emissions
  • Better reliability

DEF & Your Health

In January 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brought in new emissions standards requiring medium and heavy-duty vehicles to significantly reduce engine emissions, particularly NOx and particulate matter (PM). NOx and PM emissions are associated with a wide range of health problems including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, aggravation of asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. The EPA estimates the emission standards will prevent 8,300 premature deaths, more than 9,500 hospitalizations, and 1.5 million workdays lost due to illness saving approximately $70.3 billion by 2030.

Bottom Line

DEF is a positive addition to the world of diesel engines. The practical benefits, as well as the health benefits, have been well worth the change. Properly storing DEF is important and will pay off in the long run. Cowin Equipment Company wants to support you by providing the best equipment with all required aspects that will empower you to complete a job successfully. 

Please contact a Cowin representative today to find out about rental, sales, and our unique rental purchase option.