Urea is used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in diesel vehicles to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
It is not used in gasoline engines.
What Is the Use of Urea in Diesel Engines?
Why do cars need urea? What is urea in car engines?
Urea is used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in diesel engines to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
The urea is injected into the exhaust stream, where it reacts with the NOx over a catalyst to form harmless nitrogen and water vapor.
This process helps diesel engines meet stringent emissions regulations and improve air quality.
The urea solution used in SCR systems is commonly known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and must be replenished periodically.
SCR systems have become increasingly popular in diesel engines, particularly in heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses, as they can significantly reduce NOx emissions by up to 90%.
The use of SCR systems also helps diesel engines run more efficiently, resulting in better fuel economy and reduced maintenance costs over time.
However, the use of urea injection requires additional infrastructure and handling compared to traditional diesel engines, including the need for DEF storage and refilling.
Nevertheless, many diesel vehicle manufacturers have adopted SCR systems as a means of meeting environmental regulations while still delivering high-performance and reliable engines.
Urea is added to many diesel vehicles to convert dangerous nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen gas and water.
Drivers purchase this urea solution from fuel stations and car accessory shops, and if a vehicle runs dry, sensors limit horsepower and eventually stop the engine from starting.
Diesel Vehicle vs. Gasoline Vehicle
The main difference between diesel vehicles and gasoline vehicles is the type of fuel they use. Diesel engines use diesel fuel, which is typically more energy-dense than gasoline and can provide better fuel efficiency and torque.
Gasoline engines, on the other hand, use gasoline as fuel, which is lighter and more volatile than diesel fuel and can provide better acceleration and high-end power.
Diesel vehicles also typically have better fuel economy than gasoline vehicles, which means they can travel farther on a gallon of fuel.
However, diesel fuel is often more expensive than gasoline, and diesel engines can be more expensive to maintain and repair due to their more complex design and technology.
Another key difference between diesel and gasoline vehicles is their emissions. Diesel engines typically produce more harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), than gasoline engines.
To reduce these emissions, many diesel vehicles are equipped with emissions control systems, such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF), which require the use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) or AdBlue.
Overall, the choice between a diesel vehicle and a gasoline vehicle depends on several factors, such as personal preferences, driving habits, and environmental concerns. Diesel vehicles may be more suitable for long-distance driving or heavy-duty use, while gasoline vehicles may be more appropriate for city driving or sporty performance.
It’s important to consider these factors and compare the pros and cons of each type of vehicle before making a decision.
Diesel vehicle vs. gasoline vehicle
|Diesel Vehicles||Gasoline Vehicles|
|Fuel||Diesel fuel, which is more energy-dense and can provide better fuel efficiency and torque||Gasoline, which is lighter and more volatile and can provide better acceleration and high-end power|
|Fuel economy||Typically better than gasoline vehicles, meaning they can travel farther on a gallon of fuel||Typically lower than diesel vehicles|
|Maintenance||Can be more expensive to maintain and repair due to their more complex design and technology||Generally less expensive to maintain and repair|
|Emissions||Typically produce more harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), and require emissions control systems such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF)||Typically produce fewer harmful pollutants and may not require emissions control systems|
|Suitable use||May be more suitable for long-distance driving or heavy-duty use||May be more suitable for city driving or sporty performance|
What Is Adblue?
AdBlue is a trademarked brand name for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), which is a clear, non-toxic, and non-flammable solution of urea in demineralized water.
AdBlue is used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in diesel vehicles to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
It is a key component in meeting emissions regulations in many countries, including Europe and North America.
AdBlue is stored in a separate tank on the vehicle and is injected into the exhaust system as needed to reduce NOx emissions.
AdBlue is a highly purified solution that meets strict international quality standards, including ISO 22241. The composition of AdBlue is standardized, with a urea concentration of 32.5% and water making up the rest.
The solution must be handled carefully, as it can crystallize at low temperatures and can cause damage to the SCR system if contaminated with dirt, dust, or other impurities. AdBlue consumption varies depending on the vehicle type, usage, and operating conditions, with typical consumption rates ranging from 2% to 5% of diesel fuel consumption.
Regular refilling of the AdBlue tank is necessary, and most modern diesel vehicles have warning systems that alert the driver when the AdBlue level is low.
Is AdBlue Only Used for Diesel Engines?
Yes, AdBlue is only used for diesel engines equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems.
The purpose of AdBlue is to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that are produced by diesel engines during combustion.
Gasoline engines, on the other hand, typically use a different type of emissions control system, such as a Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) or a Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF), which do not require AdBlue or Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF).
Therefore, AdBlue is specifically designed for diesel engines that use SCR systems, and should not be used in gasoline engines.
How Many Miles Will 10 Litres of AdBlue Last?
On average, 10 litres of AdBlue can provide enough usage for most drivers to cover a distance of approximately 6 to 8 thousand miles.
However, this can vary significantly depending on
- the vehicle’s make and model
- driving conditions
- usage patterns
Some heavy-duty diesel vehicles may consume AdBlue at a faster rate and require more frequent refilling, while smaller diesel cars may consume AdBlue at a slower rate and require less frequent refilling.
It’s important to check the AdBlue levels regularly and top up the tank when necessary to ensure that the vehicle’s SCR system functions properly and to avoid any potential damage or emissions issues.
Can I Use Water Instead of AdBlue?
You cannot use water instead of AdBlue in a vehicle equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system.
AdBlue is a specifically formulated solution of urea in demineralized water that is designed to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel engines.
The urea in AdBlue breaks down into ammonia when it is injected into the exhaust stream and reacts with NOx over a catalyst to produce harmless nitrogen and water vapor.
If you use water instead of AdBlue, it can cause serious damage to the SCR system.
Water does not have the same chemical properties as AdBlue, and it can cause the SCR system to malfunction by blocking the injector or damaging the catalyst.
The resulting damage to the SCR system can reduce engine performance and actually increase the fuel consumption per mile or kilometer, leading to decreased efficiency and higher operating costs.
Therefore, it is important to always use AdBlue in diesel vehicles equipped with SCR systems and to avoid using water or any other substitutes. AdBlue is widely available at most fuel stations and auto parts stores, and it should be stored and handled carefully to ensure its purity and effectiveness in reducing emissions.
How Long Can You Keep AdBlue?
As a general rule, AdBlue can be stored for up to one year in a sealed container, such as an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) or tank, without significant deterioration in quality.
However, the actual shelf life of AdBlue can vary depending on several factors, such as storage temperature, exposure to sunlight, and contact with impurities or contaminants.
AdBlue can start to degrade in quality over time even if it has not reached its expiration date, and this can affect its effectiveness in reducing emissions.
To ensure the quality and effectiveness of AdBlue, it’s important to store it properly in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and sources of heat.
The container should be sealed tightly to prevent contamination by dirt, dust, or other impurities.
It’s also recommended to use AdBlue within six months of opening the container to minimize the risk of degradation and ensure optimal performance. Additionally, it’s important to check the AdBlue levels regularly and refill the tank when necessary to avoid any potential damage or emissions issues.