When purchasing and storing diesel exhaust fluid, known as DEF for short, it’s important to know how to use it correctly for safety. Because your business depends on diesel-powered vehicles, from tractors to dump trucks, you likely already know about DEF, which is designed to reduce the harmful emissions by diesel engines (when used properly). DEF also ensures your vehicles remain in compliance with air pollution regulations.

Diesel exhaust fluid won’t undercut engine performance, unlike some emission reduction technologies. The use of DEF can significantly improve your fuel economy and horsepower production while reducing engine wear at the same time.

The danger comes in when you use low-quality or contaminated DEF which can be harmful. Heed these tips and best practices when buying and storing DEF and related supplies.

Only Buy the Highest Quality DEF

DEF mixtures, comprised of urea and purified, deionized water, create a clear, non-flammable solution injected directly into the hot exhaust gases that come from your diesel engine, spurring a chemical chain reaction that removes nitrous oxide emissions out of the gases.

If this chemical reaction is to happen properly, the DEF has to be of the purest and highest quality, as contaminants can stall these reactions and actually boost the production of harmful emissions.

Purchase DEF From a Trusted Supplier

This is why you should only buy DEF from a trustworthy supplier, ideally one that is certified by the American Petroleum Institute. This is the organization in charge of regulating DEF purity and granting licenses to those who meet their strict standards.

Don’t Buy More DEF Than You Need

You need to keep your vehicles constantly supplied with DEF, so be sure to buy enough at one time. Just don’t overbuy. Only have a couple vehicles that need this type of gas? You can buy smaller barrels, jugs or even refillable totes. Keep in mind that DEF’s got a shelf life of two years, so purchasing more DEF than you think you will use is a waste of money and resources.

It’s usually most cost effective to buy it in bulk when you have a large fleet of heavy commercial vehicles. Many DEF suppliers, such as Taylor Oil, will come to your location and fill your on-site storage tanks so you never run out.   

Store DEF in Sealed Containers

Since diesel exhaust fluid can be contaminated easily, you have to store it in sealed containers, or just keep it in the jugs or totes you bought it in. Just be sure to reseal those containers after every use. If you buy DEF in bulk, place smaller units into separate, sealable tanks or containers. Make sure such containers are not made from unlined steel or concrete, though. That’s because DEF is corrosive when in contact with concrete and ferrous metals. The storage containers you use should be made of aluminum, polypropylene, or high-density polyethylene.

Keep DEF at room temperature. Any higher and the urea in the DEF will deteriorate and lead to reduced effectiveness of the fuel.

Hopefully these guidelines have been helpful in showing you best practices when it comes to buying and storing DEF.

Contact Taylor Oil

For more tips on how to effectively and safely use DEF in your commercial fleet, contact Taylor Oil today. We use an ULTRA-PURE UREA solution for your peace of mind.