Fuels

Tips for Maintaining DEF Dispensers When Temperatures Drop

Temperature drop
Photograph: Shutterstock

Cold weather can cause a host of issues for fuel site operators with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) dispensing storage systems. If the proper maintenance steps aren’t taken, freezing temperatures can cause components to malfunction and the fluid itself to freeze up and put DEF storage and dispensing equipment at risk.


Avoid Dispensing Contaminated DEF

Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is extremely vulnerable to contamination. PetroClear® has expanded its line of dispenser filtration products to include Diesel Exhaust Fluid Filter Housing and ElementsContact a PetroClear representative today to add PetroClear’s DEF contamination prevention solutions to DEF dispensers.


What happens if DEF is allowed to freeze?

DEF freezes at around 12 degrees Fahrenheit. While the quality of DEF doesn’t degrade, the volume of DEF can expand up to 7% higher in a frozen state than when it’s a liquid. This may cause closed containers and storage equipment used to dispense DEF to expand and rupture if they are full or nearly full.

What can operators do to prevent equipment damage caused by frozen DEF?

Keeping DEF fluid storage below maximum fill levels can help operators prevent a rupture. Scheduling routine checks of the heater and temperature controls associated with DEF dispensing and storage systems to ensure they are working as prescribed is also highly recommended.

What other DEF dispenser maintenance should be performed?

Inspecting the DEF dispenser filter is also very important because urea crystals can form over time. If these crystals are not caught by the filter in the dispenser, on-board urea/DEF filters may reach filtration capacity prematurely and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems may not perform correctly. If the maximum flow rate has started to fall, it’s a sign the filter needs to be changed.

What micron rating should DEF dispenser filters have?

Some DEF dispenser filters provide 1 micron of particulate removal to capture very fine particulates. While this sounds good in theory, it may diminish the service life of the filter, requiring frequent filter replacement to ensure effective filtration. In the majority of cases, 5-micron (absolute) or 10-micron (absolute) particulate removing DEF filters provide a manageable balance between filtration quality and replacement intervals.

To learn more about PetroClear DEF filters, contact PetroClear Business Director Bob Ingham at Robert.Ingham@champlabs.com or call him at (419) 377-4652

This post is sponsored by PetroClear

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