The wellbeing of the Earth is anyone’s priority, and accordingly, it never hurts to always go that extra mile to ensure that we reduce the amount of pollution our daily activities cause. Of special importance is devoting this attitude in the realm of vehicles, which contribute altogether for a very large percentage of all pollution. Thankfully, many technicians and experts have developed countless additions to vehicles that can reduce their carbon footprint as well as their role in air pollution as a whole, and the invention of diesel exhaust fluids (DEF) is one of these innovative additions.
Diesel exhaust fluid is, simply put, a type of fluid that is injected into diesel engines in order to reduce their exhaust emissions of nitric oxide gases (NOx). Diesel exhaust fluids are better known by their trademark name – AdBlue fluid. To explain more in detail, diesel exhaust fluid is basically a solution of urea and deionized water. The combustion that takes place in a diesel engine produces nitric oxides, which as anyone would know, are amongst the gases that contribute to air pollution. To reduce the amount of nitric oxides that are emitted by these diesel vehicles, diesel exhaust fluids cause a chemical reaction within the engine, where nitric oxide turns into a more harmless chemical substance before being emitted by the exhaust pipe of the vehicle.
To go even further into detail, the chemical reaction that takes place within the diesel engine is basically as follows:
i. When the combustion takes place within the diesel engine (which may or may not make use of diesel transfer pumps depending on when it was manufactured), the presence of a lot of excess air causes the production of nitric oxides, especially of the monoatomic type (which are the most harmful of all types).
ii. At this point, the diesel exhaust fluid is entered into the exhaust pipeline from another tank. Due to the heat, the water component of the solution quickly evaporates, leaving only the urea – which in turn, decomposes into ammonia and carbon dioxide.
iii. The ammonia chemically reacts with the nitric oxides and reduces them to two harmless chemical substances; namely, nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O).
The installation of a diesel exhaust fluid system in a diesel vehicle is not something very complex, but it will be helpful to know that vehicles manufactured after the year 2005 are legally required to have a DEF system in their build. Just like any other car fluid, diesel exhaust fluids also need to be regularly replaced. Most AdBlue suppliers will therefore recommend that you check the fluid levels of the system before you go out on long journeys. It is easy to replace the fluids – you can do it yourself or have it done at a service station.
Thus, since the installation and regular replacement is not very much of a hassle, it is recommended to install a system if your diesel vehicle does not already have one – it is for the environment after all!