Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Mar 13, 2024

Unloved but necessary in your operation

Scott Richardson
Energy Division Manager

WAY BACK IN 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) in diesel engines. The thing that makes SCR work its magic is a consumable fluid called diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which owners of diesel vehicles must add to their vehicles. No one likes paying more money for something inconvenient, but the reality of DEF and SCR turned out to not be that bad once engine manufacturers got their heads around using it and making the engines still reliable.

In an SCR-equipped vehicle, the exhaust gas from the engine is routed first through a particulate filter to catch all the soot and ash generated from burning what is a relatively impure fuel. From the particulate filter, the exhaust gas travels past a nozzle that sprays DEF into the stream of gases. (DEF is made from deionized water and a very pure form of urea. This is a refined form of the compound and is mostly used in the agricultural industry as a component of fertilizer.) The hot exhaust gas and DEF then enter the catalytic converter, where the urea from the DEF and the exhaust gas react with a variety of metallic compounds to convert nitrogen dioxide and monoxide into nitrogen and water. Nitrogen is the primary component of the air we breathe, and water is, well, water.

The world isn’t going to abandon diesel anytime soon. We depend on diesel-powered vehicles to move our goods and ourselves around the world, be they trucks, trains, tractors or boats. The SCR technology and the advent of more cost-effective biofuels mean that until we’re ready to abandon internal combustion entirely, we’ll keep things relatively clean, which is important since sustainability and good stewardship of the land are paramount in our world of agriculture.

Key Cooperative strives to meet the needs of our producers and consumers for DEF products by keeping variations of all sizes and equipment on hand. We have DEF in bulk storage for customers to pick up at our Roland and Sully locations. Better yet, we can now deliver DEF in bulk to your site’s storage tanks with our delivery trailer. If you’re not into bulk storage yet, we have totes of DEF in 330- and 140-gallon sizes for pickup or delivery, as well as 55-gallon drums. For the customer on the go, we also carry 2.5-gallon jugs of DEF at all our Key locations.

Our Energy Service Department has trained technicians and an assortment of equipment, including bulk storage, DEF pumps, hoses and nozzles to help you no matter the size of setup your operation needs. We know that some producers still don’t have DEF in their operations, while some producers have DEF in all their equipment and trucks. We’re here to help with any need or size of operation. Get in touch with our Energy Sales Specialists listed below. 

Bob Rabey | 641-521-6318

Chris Nady | 515-290-0009

Rick Kucera | 641-780-1624

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