What is AdBlue™ and how to select an AdBlue™ pump

AdBlue Pump

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What is AdBlue™?

European Emission Standards have made it a legal requirement for diesel consuming vehicles’ emissions to be reduced to a certain level. In response to this new regulation, an advanced pollution control technology was introduced to be installed into a vehicle’s exhaust system referred to as the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, which essentially reduces the amount of harmful nitrogen oxides that are released into the air.

A major component in the SCR system is the use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF); a synthetic, Aqueous Urea Solution (AUS32) comprising of 32.5% high-purity urea and 67.5% deionised water. DEF is injected into the exhaust, where the AUS vaporises and splits into ammonia and carbon dioxide, and in turn the ammonia turns the nitrogen oxides into water and nitrogen, both of which are harmless.

AdBlue™ is the European trademark for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), which is governed by the Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (The German Association of the Automotive Industry) who ensure that any fluid branded AdBlue™ meeting the strict quality standards of DIN 70070 and ISO 22241.

The first major wave of vehicles utilising SCR technology was in 2005 when the Euro IV Emission Standards were introduced, and was further boosted with the Euro V Emission Standards in 2009. These initial standards have meant that any new bus, coach, lorry or large agricultural machinery manufactured need to limit their emissions, and consequently has seen a large growth of AdBlue™ in these areas. Euro VI which is set to be introduced in 2014 will then see the start of construction equipment, light commercial vehicles and some passenger cars begin to use AdBlue™.

What is an AdBlue™ Pump?

AdBlue™ is dispensed into the vehicle just like diesel but into a separate tank within the vehicle. Consequently, companies with AdBlue™ utilising vehicles now have to purchase AdBlue™ as standard alongside their diesel, and store it in either a bulk storage tank, IBC or drum depending upon their usage. Like a diesel transfer pump, an AdBlue™ pump is the component in the refilling system that transfers the fluid from where it is stored into the vehicle.

It is crucial that only pumps specifically designed for the dispensing of DEF/AdBlue™ are used with the fluid, and users do not presume that they can use the same pump that they use to transfer the diesel. This is because of the importance that AdBlue™ is kept free of any contamination as the purity of the solution needs to be maintained in order for the SCR system to work correctly. Additionally, if the deionised water content evaporates due to air entering the system, AdBlue™ can cause crystallisation on the AdBlue™ pump’s components leading to uneven wear and also damage to the ceramic head on the SCR system.

There are a large range of alternative AdBlue™ pumps to select from, and like with a fuel transfer pump there are certain features that they differ on. Depending upon your requirement there are both complete AdBlue™ dispensing kits that come complete with nozzle, hose and flow meter and also individual replacement AdBlue™ pumps. Both of these are available as mains powered, electric pumps for applications where dispensing is at a fixed point, and as battery powered, low voltage AdBlue™ pumps when mains supply is not available.

The AdBlue™ pump range can also be categorised into those suitable for particular usages. When AdBlue™ is used in small quantities dispensing may occur from a drum, for which there are pumps and kits specifically designed that come with a drum connector and suction pipe. These are often manual hand pumps, although there are powered pumps available. Medium usage of AdBlue™, which is currently most popular, usually sees AdBlue™ being stored in an IBC. For this application there are plated IBC AdBlue™ pump kits in the market that come with an SEC fitting for IBC connection.

With the market growing and more vehicles having to be replaced with AdBlue™ utilising vehicles, there is starting to be a shift to the bulk tank in order to take advantage of cost savings. For AdBlue™ tanks, there are kits enclosed in a sturdy box for tank or wall mounting, and also individual AdBlue™ pumps that can be retrofitted.

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