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3 Ways Convenience Stores Can Improve Their DEF Quality Assurance

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) management can be a challenge for drivers who deal with the unforgiving nature of their diesel-powered vehicle’s precision-engineered Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. C-store operators can help alleviate some of these struggles through good DEF dispenser maintenance practices.


Avoid Dispensing Contaminated DEF

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SCR was developed to help heavy-duty vehicles meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s requirement to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. In SCR systems, DEF is injected into the exhaust stream of a diesel engine. As more SCR-equipped vehicles enter into the vehicle fleet, the demand for DEF continues to grow. As a result, more c-stores are offering DEF.

However, proper storage and dispensing of DEF, as well as maintenance of DEF dispensing equipment, is essential for delivering DEF that is on-spec. According to a Cummins Filtration Q&A, if contaminants enter into the vehicle’s on-board DEF tank, the vehicle’s SCR system will recognize the non-DEF substances and will trigger an indicator lamp to light up. Depending on the level of contamination in the tank, the vehicle may require servicing, the Q&A states.

By utilizing quality DEF dispenser filters to capture contaminants prior to the DEF entering into the vehicle’s SCR system, the opportunity for SCR malfunctions is reduced. DEF dispenser filters also help extend the life of the vehicle’s on-board DEF filter.

With that in mind, here are three important practices that should be part of every c-store’s DEF quality assurance program:

1. Keep the DEF dispensing equipment clean. Maintaining ingredient purity in DEF is critical. In PEI’s “Recommended Practices for the Storage and Dispensing of Diesel Exhaust Fluid,” PEI says that “special care must be taken to ensure surfaces that come into contact with DEF are kept clean to prevent any possible contamination.” The guide recommends keeping dispensers free of dirt and residue and keeping the boot where the nozzle is stored free of contaminants.

2. Monitor dispensing rates. PEI’s Recommended Practices” also advise that in-line DEF filters should be replaced when the maximum dispensing rate begins to drop. This decrease is a sign the filter is becoming blocked. Also, be sure to reference the DEF dispensers’ operating manual for additional maintenance information. Filters that provide one micron of particulate removal capture the most amount of particulate. DEF filters that offer efficient five micron (absolute) or 10 micron (absolute) particulate removal strike a balance between effective filtration and filter replacement frequency.

3. Maintain good storage practices. USTs containing DEF are not regulated by federal storage tank rules. However, state and local regulations may apply. Check with state environmental regulatory agencies and local authorities for additional regulatory information.

PetroClear includes information about dispenser filter technology, emerging fueling trends, industry challenges and other fueling equipment news in its free newsletter, PetroClear Academy. Sign up here to receive the newsletter.

This post is sponsored by PetroClear

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