LOUISVILLE, KY -- Brenntag North America announced yesterday here at the Mid-America Trucking Show that it is preparing to provide “appropriate availability” of the automotive grade urea or diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) required by 2010 regulations for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) vehicles in the U.S. The company will begin its national Urea 2010 program with its existing 120 locations in the U.S. and Canada, coordinating blending capabilities, flexible packaging options and delivery.

A worldwide chemical distributor and the largest distributor of automotive grade urea (with annualized worldwide sales of $9.1 billion in 2007), Brenntag said the company is ideally suited to the task at hand and is already working with various partners, such as Benecor to help develop the DEF supply infrastructure. “We currently distribute some 150,000 gallons of DEF every day,” noted Alan Smith, head of DEF business development for Brenntag. “We understand what it takes.”

Brenntag plans to stock DEF that meets ISO quality standards, but the company is also aware of expected resistance to this first new “required” fluid in the trucking industry in decades, noted Smith. Accordingly, he addressed many common questions about DEF:

Q: How much urea does it take to get a driver through a typical day?
A: One gallon of urea will take you about 250 miles.

Q: Is DEF/urea toxic?
A: Urea is already in wide use for other purposes, such as de-icing airport runways and fertilizing farmers’ fields. It is rated as having “no environmental impact.”

Q: What happens if a urea tank goes dry?
A: Eventually, a truck designed to use SCR for emissions control will not operate without DEF. The intelligent onboard system will first de-rate the engine and then gradually shut it down unless the urea system is activated and working properly.

Q: How much weight does DEF add to a truck?
A: DEF weighs 9.1 lbs./gal., but we are seeing fuel economy improvements that are more than enough to offset the total weight penalties.

Q: Are there any new parts that have to be replaced on a 2010 SCR truck?
A: Yes. There are three onboard filters; one of those (the final filter) should be replaced about every 120,000 miles.

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