Blog About DEF

US Natural Gas Prices To Double Over Next Year?

Article by Peak Energy

Art Berman has an article prophesying that US natural gas prices are going to come out of their slump and double over the next year - Natural Gas Prices Should Double. His reasoning is that the supply surplus is ending (supplies have declined since October 2015 because gas production is flat, imports are decreasing and exports are increasing - shale gas production has stopped growing and conventional gas has been in long term decline for the past 15 years) and will move into deficit in November.

Read the full article - click here.

Prevent Contamination in Your Underground DEF Storage Tanks

The Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) industry is seeing more and more unfortunate episodes of water runoff getting into underground storage tanks (UST). When a manhole cover is left off of an underground tank during a rainstorm, water enters the tank which could result in DEF contamination. Rainwater could dilute the DEF and add mineral properties that take the DEF out of spec.

It should be understood that DEF is a chemical and not a hydro-carbon and reacts completely different compared to diesel fuel when contaminated with water.

When rainwater enters a tank containing diesel fuel, the diesel fuel and water separate with the heavier water sinking toward the bottom of the tank. This results in limited effects on the diesel fuel. However, when DEF is exposed to water it is impossible to separate out the water, thus permanent contamination occurs.

For underground DEF storage applications, industry members refer to the PEI RP/1100 standards that propose a fill box for UST applications. This practice is recommended to help prevent water run-off into the tank.

The Facts About Prill Blending

Prilled urea can be produced domestically while other supply sources come from Europe and Asia. Whether produced locally or internationally, the following issues can occur:

1. Prill from overseas can arrive out-of-spec; with too much formaldehyde being a common problem.

2. During production, certain prill suppliers may use a chemical additive that helps the prill hold together. The chemical additive used in this process is not part of the ISO 22241 specifications, and it is unknown how the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system might be affected.

3. A good de-ionized (DI) water-supply system is critical to the quality of DEF. Water sources can vary from one municipality to the other. Continuous testing and maintenance of the water being used is critical.

4. Consistent production processes may not be in place by the company blending prilled urea. For example, if cooled too quickly the DEF may not be fully solutionized.

Keep in mind, when it comes to these urea sources and solutionizers there are pros and cons, but the customer should be aware of the variables when they source from one of these suppliers. We have seen fleets with clogged filters on the trucks dosing systems that only seem to have a problem when the DEF source is solutionized prill. This type of problem is an issue due to poor water quality.

Not all prilled urea will create problems for your company. However, if you choose to purchase prill, ensure that you know the origin of your product, how it’s being manufactured, and if proper testing processes are in place.

We recommend you visit your supplier and audit their process.

Proper Summer Storage of DEF

Summer is here and warm temperatures are on the rise. With devastating winter months that were icier, snowier and colder than average, there was much discussion about proper storage solutions for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Just like DEF needs to be protected from wet, cold weather, there is also a need to protect DEF from sun and high heat.

According to the MSDS, DEF should be stored in a cool, dry place, and out of direct sunlight. Ideal storage temperatures should be between 12° F (11° C) and 86° F (30° C).

DEF can lose its potency if stored at or above 86°F for prolonged periods of time. DEF has a high concentration of 67.5% de-ionized water, increasing its risk for evaporation. If DEF begins to lose its potency, the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system will dose the DEF at a rate higher than 2-4% to compensate for the decreased potency level. Using more DEF than expected will more quickly deplete the supply; therefore, cutting into a company’s bottom line. To avoid the risk of evaporation, keep the cap of the DEF tank and any storage containers securely closed.

The shelf life of DEF is contingent upon ambient storage temperature. When stored between the recommended temperatures, DEF has a self-life of one to two years. Optimum storage facilities include garages, warehouses, or storage systems recommended by equipment manufactures.

If you have any questions regarding proper storage, contact your local sales representative.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Dilution Systems

Brenntag North America is equipping various North American facilities with systems, which allow 50% urea to be diluted to 32.5% Automotive Grade Urea during a new, continuous method dilution production. Installation of these high-throughput dilution systems will contribute to significant yearly freight cost savings as we add DI water regionally.

A substantial amount of 50% DEF has already been successfully diluted at Brenntag Northeast’s Reading, PA facility. Installation of a high capacity reversed osmosis water system supports the demand for high-quality water consumption during the dilution process as well as other plant chemical processes.

What These Benefits Mean to Us

  • Continuous Diesel Exhaust Fluid production
  • Instantaneously change urea concentration ratios to produce Automotive Grade 32.5% or other products such as 40.0% DEF for the marine market
  • Zero waste production
  • High speed flow rate of 120 gallons a minute reduces production time to 4 ½ hours per railcar
  • Reduced rail car processing and traffic

What These Benefits Mean to Our Customers

  • More available inventory at Brenntag
  • Additional industrial urea products available such as higher concentrations including 40% urea for the marine market
  • Freight cost advantages
  • Adding water closer to the customer increases efficiencies and cost

Brenntag North America is planning to install additional dilution systems across the country. For additional information or support please contact Matthew Sparrow with Brenntag North America’s Engineering Department at (610) 914-0912.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid, It's NOT Diesel Fuel

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