Diesel was discovered and invented in the 1890s by German inventor Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel or Rudolf Diesel. When it was prototyped in 1893, its primary function was to run on peanut oil. But as time progressed, the use of diesel has been more prominent. Diesel has been used for engines of almost every mode of transport-- rail, sea, air, and road. It has also been used to run power plants, farms, and construction equipment.

Diesel fuel has helped people in more ways than you can imagine. But as time goes on, diesel fuel has drastically increased, especially nowadays, where almost everyone owns a personal vehicle. And this has brought several damages to the environment. It has been known that diesel fuel alone produces many harmful emissions that could cause pollution. Because of this, attempts to reduce the emission of these pollutants have been made. And one of the most successful attempts is the SCR.

Invented in the United States in 1957, SCR or Selective Catalytic Reduction has been proven to reduce nitrogen oxides, damaging the environment. Its development continued in Japan in the late 1970s, where it was first applied in thermal power plants. Later on, a widespread application in Europe followed. And in 2010, SCR systems were finally introduced by most engine manufacturers. Along with the DEF or Diesel Engine Fluid, SCR can work its magic. DEF is a consumable fluid that helps in reducing harmful chemicals released in the atmosphere. It is made from deionized water and urea (the one you can also find in urine).

See here our vast selection of fuel additives to help remove harmful deposits and built-up gunk that may be plaguing your fuel system. 

How do SCR and DEF work together?

Your car has many parts, including the valves, camshafts, piston, compression chamber, cylinder, fuel injector, wheel, and exhaust port. All of these parts contribute to the intake, compression, power, and exhaust strokes of your car. And SCR mainly serves its purpose in the exhaust system.

You might be wondering what does diesel exhaust fluid do. Its primary function is to act as a reducing agent to help the SCR break down harmful chemicals such as nitrogen dioxide and monoxide into nitrogen and water.

In an SCR-equipped vehicle, the reducing agent or DEF is injected into the exhaust gas flow. This can be located upstream of the NOx catalyst. During this process, the rear breaks down the NOx compound, combine it with the new elements to form nitrogen and water and converts it to a harmless component.

Myths And Facts About Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Although the SCR has been around for half a century already, this technology might still be new for some. This is why several myths surround this system, which we will debunk through this article.

DEF is Toxic

DEF is a non-toxic, non-hazardous, and non-flammable fluid because if it is, it will defeat the purpose of adding DEF to your vehicle. The primary purpose of diesel exhaust fluid is to help slow down the pollution brought by harmful chemicals released from diesel alone. This fluid has a natural pH of 9.0, which is about the same as the ordinary baking soda you can find in your homes. During the process of exhaustion in the car, DEF helps in releasing nitrogen and water. Nitrogen is not a harmful chemical as this element is present even within the air we breathe. And water is water.

DEF is Urine

DEF indeed contains urea, but that does not automatically mean it is urine. Urea is a waste product of many living organisms and is a significant component of human urine. But you must know that since the 1930s, synthetic urea has been produced by synthesizing synthetic ammonia and carbon dioxide through a heated and sealed process. Furthermore, DEF uses a combination of 33.5 percent of urea and 67.5 percent of deionized water. Meanwhile, human urine contains very little in comparison to DEF.

It is Hard to Use

Filling your DEF tank is not difficult to do. It’s just as simple as putting water on your car’s radiator. And also, you don’t have to refill your DEF tank every time you fill your gas tank. A 2.5 gallon can already suffice for about 800 or more miles of travel.

DEF is Unstable

Since urea is one of the main components of DEF and it does not transform into a toxic chemical despite any temperature changes, Diesel Exhaust Fluid is not difficult to store at all. In addition, the chemicals that are within DEF do not get affected by freezing or humid temperatures. This makes DEF stable.

You Can’t Easily Buy DEF

If you think that it’s a hassle to buy DEF, then you are wrong. You can purchase this fluid from any truck stop, gasoline station, and even auto parts shop. As long as they sell diesel fuel, they will most likely have DEF in store. Another plus? You can even purchase it online.

One more thing, DEF is not expensive. You can buy this fluid for at least $8.00 per gallon, but there are cheaper DEF. For example, you can purchase the most affordable diesel exhaust fluid at $2.50 per gallon.

Only Professionals Can Fill Your Tank

As stated above, DEF is not tricky to use, which means you can fill your own DEF tank. You don’t need to visit an auto shop or stop by a gasoline station to ask for a professional to fill it up for you. The DEF tanks are usually convenient to access, making refilling tanks so much easy you can do it even if you are in your garage.

Non-Factory DEF Will Damage My Car

Diesel Exhaust Fluid is a term that may seem intimidating, but really, this fluid is just a fancy name for a chemical with a mixture of water and nitrogen. Indeed, there are several brands of DEF, but all of them are just the same. And since DEF is non-toxic, using this fluid would not harm nor damage your car.

DEF Evaporates

If you decided to display DEF and constantly expose it at 120 degrees for two years, then that’s the only time it will turn into ammonia and evaporate. But if you will use it for your auto, then no, you can stop worrying about DEF evaporating.

DEF is a New Invention

The SCR and DEF system has been used for already a long time. It has been used by commercial and agricultural applications for a decade now. Although understandably, it may sound new to the ears as vehicles still do not have a DEF tank, this is nothing new.

DEF has More Cons Than Pros

Just like every invention out there, it’s only regular that DEF will have its cons. But the only cons DEF brings is that it can increase your operating cost, requires more room for your truck, and adds a small amount of weight. On the other hand, this fluid brings more pros such as better fuel efficiency, increased power and reduced maintenance for your truck, and many more. Plus, the most beneficial thing about DEF is that it yields harmless chemicals into the atmosphere, making it more eco-friendly.