The first diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) mobile locator app for the iPhone is available immediately with the Android and Windows7 version available later this summer/fall.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 10, 2011
2012 VW Passat – The large mid-size not only provides an easy 60 + mpg on the highway, but is 50-state legal with a ULEV-II emissions rating and essentially no evaporative emissions thanks in part to its diesel fuel requirement. It uses DEF in an SCR system to maintain those superlative emissions for the life of the car.
What is DEF? Diesel Exhaust Fluid or DEF is a product required by many heavy-duty trucks, pickups, SUVs, vans and even some automobiles delivered after January 2010. DEF is used to reduce harmful NOx emissions in the exhaust and meet the EPA's latest strict environmental standards.
DEF is non hazardous and consists of 67.5% de-ionized water and 32.5% urea, and is used in combination with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. It is sprayed into the exhaust and combines with a catalyst to break down NOx (a harmful pollutant) into nitrogen and water.
In January 2010 emissions legislation came into force which requires diesel vehicles to significantly reduce harmful emissions of NOx and particulate matter. A good way to meet these standards is through the use of SCR and DEF which can provide upwards of a 90% reduction in NOx!
The trucking industry has been split by this latest piece of rulemaking and manufacturers are pursuing two technology pathways. Daimler, PACCAR, Volvo, Mack, Isuzu, Hino, Ford, GM and others are using SCR, while Navistar has decided to go it alone and use an extension of its 2007 MaxxForce EGR technology.
In doing so, Navistar has seen its sales plummet over the last year from an estimated 30% of the market to less than 17%.
SCR technology offers many benefits, most importantly great fuel efficiency. On top of this, owners of SCR vehicles will enjoy greater reliability and a longer oil change interval, all of which adds up to impressive savings over the life of the vehicle.
In 2011 some agricultural, construction and forestry equipment will have to meet more stringent emissions standards and a number of manufacturers will use SCR and DEF.
What does DEF cost
Fuel card operator and convenience store chain, Flash Foods, recently installed a bulk Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) pump as a standalone dispenser in one of the truck stop's filling lanes at its travel center in Waycross, Southern Georgia. As of late June, DEF retailed DEF at $2.69/gallon.
How Much DEF does a modern day emissions equipped diesel consume
First we have to consider what DEF and SCR does for a diesel’s FE by comparison to odler systems including high flow EGR and NOx traps. SCR based systems improve overall fuel economy by approximately 5% compared to competing technologies. In practice, Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) consumption is measured as a ratio of diesel fuel sometimes called the "dosing rate". A good starting point is 3% and this figure has been widely used by heavy-duty truck manufacturers. This means that if your truck has a fuel efficiency of six miles per gallon it will use 1.5 gallons of DEF every 300 miles.
Feedback from a number of fleets, including Penske Truck Leasing, suggests that the dosing rate is slightly lower than originally predicted by manufacturers, at around 2%.
In an SCR based diesel equipped automobile? I have driven the 2009 BMW 335d, 2011 Ford F-150 Super Duty and 2012 VW Passat and all use DEF fluid in their SCR based emissions control systems, I have unfortunately not measured the total amount of DEF used over a given distance. That is a test we hope to perform in the near future however.
There is an App for that
Yara, the world’s largest diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) producer, launched the first ever DEF locator mobile app which uses GPS technology to identify the DEF retail outlets closest to a driver’s location. The “Air1” DEF Mobile Locator is currently available for free download for use on the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. Yara also plans to release an Android and Windows 7 compatible version of the app at the beginning of August and September respectively.
America’s diesel-powered vehicles equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology rely on DEF to meet the EPA’s 2010 heavy-duty engine and vehicle emissions standards and to make sure their engines run efficiently. Consequently, easy access to high quality DEF, such as Yara’s Air1 brand, is essential for all drivers to ensure that their vehicles keep running and that the SCR technology in their engines remains in pristine condition. Drivers who download the Air1 DEF Mobile Locator app will now always know where the closest retail location is whenever they need to fill up or top off their tanks with high quality DEF.
Chad Dombroski, Yara’s Director of Air1:
“The Air1 DEF Mobile Locator was developed as a tool to help save diesel drivers’ time by allowing them to quickly find out where they can refill their tanks with quality DEF while on the road.”
As the first DEF app of its kind, the application allows operators to:
- Find more than 600 retail outlets in the U.S. selling DEF near or along their route.
- Search by city, state, or zip code for a DEF retail outlet.
- Pick up a driver’s location via GPS then calculate the distance and provide directions from their location to the nearest DEF retail outlet.
- View the address and map location of various retail outlets selling DEF.
Yara has a number of supply relationships with petroleum marketers, oil distributors, service stations, and truck stops across the United States and Canada that sell the company’s Air1 brand of DEF. This retail network will be featured in the Air1 DEF Mobile Locator app to improve drivers’ ability to find DEF retailers easily. The retail location information is supplied by Yara and will be updated on the app each month.
The free app is available from the Air1 website
or the iTunes app store.