E&MU: DEF Storage and Testing Grows as Fleets Move to SCR Engines
By Jonathan S. Reiskin, Associate News Editor
This story appears in the January/February 2013 issue of Equipment & Maintenance Update, a supplement to the Jan. 21 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
CINCINNATI — As the amount of diesel exhaust fluid poured into U.S. and Canadian trucks continues to grow, laboratory chemists are working on how to test the liquid for purity, and vehicle operators are installing underground storage tanks for the added volume.
As of this year, nearly all new heavy-duty trucks and most medium-duty trucks sold are using DEF to run their selective catalytic reduction pollution-control systems. Navistar Inc. had tried to offer a competing technology but is completing its switch to SCR this year.Participants at a DEF Forum here said the all-SCR market is pushing truck operators and their vendors to buy in tank-truck bulk quantities rather than smaller containers.
“There is rapid pressure for bulk infrastructure development. It’s pedal to the metal there, and I think DEF will soon mirror fuel distribution [by tank truck] instead of totes [in vans],” said Douglas Haugh, president of Mansfield Oil Co.
Mansfield predicts that sales of DEF in 275- or 330-gallon totes will rise slowly, while cases of 2½-gallon jugs will stay roughly the same. In contrast, less-than-truckload shipments from tank trucks, ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 gallons, will boom between now and 2020.
Haugh said he thinks that, by the end of 2014, a majority of gallons of DEF sold will move by tank truck, LTL or truckload, to end-users.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth away from totes to in-ground infrastructure,” said Jeff Lewis, vice president of sales for Airgas Specialty Products, comparing January 2012 with the previous fall.
With all North American heavy-duty truck makers now using SCR with DEF as their pollution-control technology, the need for tank trailers is predicted to grow significantly.
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