The Oil Depot is one of the UK’s leading AdBlue suppliers offering reliable delivery services and competitive prices to keep you and your business moving.
With an emergency network of Depots, we ensure that any AdBlue delivery is possible no matter the circumstances.
From 18Litre Containers to Bulk AdBlue deliveries and the Installation of Adblue Tanks, our services stretch the full length of the UK to meet your requirements.
As the government's focus has turned to reduce the emissions of Diesel engines it is important to choose the correct supplier for your AdBlue. The Oil Depot offers you the online platform to be able to order your AdBlue conveniently and quickly with little effort.
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Call now on 0808 164 3801
Call now on 0808 164 3801
AdBlue and NO2 emissions explained
Chris Bingham, CEO - The Oil Depot
A great deal has been written about the challenges of emission reduction from diesel engines, the commitments from the global community to make significant changes to the laws relating to CO2 and NO2 emissions and indeed the attempts by some of the major engine manufacturers to cheat the system.
The past few months have seen a move away from new diesel cars with as much as a 30% drop in some marques, as buyers are unsure as to what tax regime will apply to diesel cars in the future. Yet the second-hand value of many diesels has actually gone up, showing there is still a level of demand for these vehicles.
So what are the facts around diesels and emissions?
Well, we have to start with the European legislation to control engine emissions, which started back in 1999, with EURO I. From June of that year, all new diesel cars sold in the EU had to adhere to strict new limits on both CO2 (2.72g/km) and NO2 (0.98g / km). It was also made clear that over the next few years, these limits would be reduced systematically and since EURO VI came into force in September 2015, the limits are now set at CO2 (0.5g/km) and NO2 (0.08g/km). So more than 70% reduction in CO2 and 90% in NO2.
Carbon Dioxide was the main initial focus, due to climate change concerns, but more recently, the various Nitrogen Oxides have been forced sharply into focus due to the impact on air quality and respiratory diseases.
To achieve this level of NOx reduction has required the inclusion of a Selective Catalytic Reducer (SCR) which is a ceramic honeycomb that sits inside the exhaust system of the vehicle. As the hot exhaust gases leave the engine, a small amount of fluid Urea solution is injected into the gases, before they pass over the hot SCR. The fluid (Adblue in EU or DEF in the US) first breaks down into Ammonia and steam, then as it passes over the SCR, the NOx gases are reduced to harmless water and Nitrogen.
Within the fuel industry, there was a view that AdBlue might only be a “transition” technology, with other newer technologies removing the need for the additional liquid, but with the almost universal adoption by truck and bus manufacturers, and the issues with manufacturers being caught applying cheat software devices to mask some of the real emissions, it would seem now that AdBlue will be a technology that will be with us for some time. Even the smaller diesel car engines are now utilising the fluid, so it is becoming more and more prevalent.
As any truck owner will tell you, there are a few things to be aware of when using and storing AdBlue. Firstly, it needs handling with care. The urea is synthetically produced (not extracted from farm animals, as has been rumoured), and mixed with deionised water. It is vital that there is no contamination and that the product adheres to the standard ISO 22241. The liquid is safe to use, but is corrosive to metal, amongst other things. It also degrades if exposed to air or sunlight, so it is best to buy the amount you need and not carry half opened bottles in the boot of a car. The amounts used in a diesel car are relatively small in compassion to the fuel, although the retail price per litre is often around the same as diesel.
There are other technologies within EURO VI diesel engines, another catalyst which oxidises the CO2 emissions, and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which takes 98% of the soot particles, traps them in a fine filter within the exhaust and then when the filter is “full” injects a small amount of neat diesel into the DPF which causes a rapid burning of the soot particles and emits small amounts of CO2 and water. This “regeneration” is essential to keep the DPF working and just happens when the engine is hot and running for a reasonable period. Problems can occur when the vehicle is used for short journeys which never give the DPF time to heat up and over time this will cause “sooting up” and damage to the filter unit.
This is why you don’t see modern diesels throwing out plumes of black smoke under heavy acceleration, or if you do, their DPF must be in pretty bad shape.
Since May 2018, the UK MOT check is now far more stringent for DPF systems, and if they have been damaged by too many short journeys, the only option is to replaced them, which can be anywhere from ￡1,000 to ￡4,000.
It is also illegal to bypass the SCR, Adblue mechanism or the DPF, with heavy fines for motorists or commercial fleet operators who try to avoid these emission reduction technologies.
The plan is to extend the EURO VI scheme and drive the various emissions down ever further, which can’t be a bad thing. There seems to be very little chance that the UK leaving the EU will have any impact on the future legislation, as all cars in the UK will in reality follow the same specifications as for the rest of the EU.
For off road vehicles and other diesel engines used for power generation, EURO VI does not apply, but a very similar set of regulations do apply to tractors, plant equipment and such like. Currently snappily called Tier 4 Final (there were several Tier 4 variants), it places similar emission limits to the EURO 5 engines, but with Tier 5 due in 2020, off road diesels will have a very similar emission level to their road going cousins. Both the US and the EU run parallel systems, so in reality, this has become a global standard in diesel engine manufacturer.
So what does this all mean for the UK consumer?
Well, the good news is that cars will continue to burn less fuel, and produce even lower levels of gas and particle emissions, both of which very few people will see as a negative. The EU have stated that with the changes from EURO I to Euro VI, it now means that 50 cars emit the equivalent as just one car from the 1990’s. There is a cost to this technology, which will have to be borne by the customer, but there seems little alternative unless we want to become far less mobile for the first time in our history.
Order your AdBlue by calling our Fuel Consultant team on 0808 1643801 or filling in the contact form below or ordering online by visiting The Oil Depot shop by clicking here.