Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is required in a wide range of new medium and heavy-duty trucks, pickups, and agricultural and construction equipment. The fluid is added by the users at regular intervals and helps destroys harmful emissions produced during combustion.
DEF is a non-hazardous chemical and consists of 67.5% de-ionized water and 32.5% urea. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology sprays DEF into the exhaust stream and combines with a catalyst to break down NOx (a harmful pollutant) into nitrogen and water.
Environment Canada's harmonisation with the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2010 emissions standards for on-highway vehicles required truck manufacturers to significantly reduce vehicle emissions. This has led to the widespread adoption of SCR technology in medium and heavy-duty trucks.
Currently, SCR use in non-road vehicles and pickup trucks is limited, but will increase as new legislation comes into force, particularly off road emissions standards in 2014.
SCR technology offers many benefits to the owners and operators of these vehicles, most importantly great fuel efficiency. On top of this, owners of SCR vehicles will enjoy greater reliability and a longer oil change interval.
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Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) reduces emissions by breaking down dangerous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. As part of the EPA's 2010 emission legislation vehicles also have to reduce particulate matter emissions, which have adverse health effects, and SCR helps this process too.
These two pollutants are associated with a wide range of health problems including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, aggravation of asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function.
The EPA estimates that the new emission standards could prevent 8,300 premature deaths, more than 9,500 hospitalizations and 1.5 million work days lost due to illness, saving approximately $70.3 billion by 2030.