Diesel exhaust fluid is not a fuel additive – it’s stored in separate tanks – but we add it to construction business project site equipment fuel. It’s injected into diesel vehicles’ exhaust streams to reduce harmful emissions by as much as 90%. The process itself is known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
If you run out of DEF, your equipment performance is compromised. DEF is made from synthetic, pure urea and de-ionized water, so in freezing temperatures, your construction business managers and contractors need to take steps to protect tanks and machinery.
DEF freezes at 11° F and (-11° degrees Celsius) and needs to be carefully maintained and dispensed, says Equipment World. Here are some cold-weather tips for managing construction business equipment’s DEF:
- Because of its water content, DEF will expand as much as 7% when frozen. This can damage a full or almost-full storage tank. Don’t fill your DEF tank completely full in cold winter temperatures.
- Check DEF container labels and be sure to use the product before expiration. Also, observe suggested storage temperatures and look for the API (American Petroleum Institute) certification mark on DEF containers. API-licensed DEF is usually recommended.
- DEF has a limited (about 12 months max) shelf life. Following a hard winter, you may want to change it out before spring. Always document equipment maintenance. That includes when DEF was put into vehicular equipment or machinery.
- If DEF freezes inside your machinery or equipment, don’t put additives in fuel tanks attempting to thaw it. Additives may melt the DEF, but its efficiency will be compromised. Instead, let the heating element in the tank thaw the DEF while the machine is running.
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