AdBlue is a colourless, non-toxic liquid made of urea and water, which is injected into the exhaust gases of newer diesel-engine cars that use SCR technology to meet Euro 6 emissions targets.
As you may well know AdBlue is used to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in vehicles and converts the harmful NOx emissions from your diesel vehicle exhaust into harmless nitrogen and steam. This reduces the emissions of that are a major source of pollution that leads to smog in urban centres and in turn aggravates any cases of Asthma in the population. Its chemical family is Urea which is an organic compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. It’s used widely in animal feeds, skin creams and Fertiliser of which its proven to improve crop harvesting. It’s not an Ammonia, a fuel, an oil or toxic in any way and is quite harmless.
Since 2005, legislation on diesel vehicles in the UK & Ireland and in the rest of Europe demands a drastic reduction of NOx emissions so it’s now common place to store Ad Blue alongside, commercial fuel oil such as diesel.
Despite its name it is NOT an additive to fuel and should not be mixed with any other liquids including fuel, oil or water. It should not be stored in a diesel tank and any equipment for dispensing AdBlue must remain specific to the AdBlue to avoid any contamination. Keep it out of direct sunlight so if purchasing a new tank or organising your site select an area that is shaded. The product also needs to be protected from extreme low temperatures it freezes at an ambient temperature of 12˚F or -11˚C. If it does freeze it can be used again, once thawed, as it returns to its original state.
Ensure when selecting your tank or storage vessel that you don’t bulk buy too much as Ad blue’s storage life is up to maximum of one year only. Storing your AdBlue in a bunded tank make for good practice, but there are no legal requirements to do so we would always advise storing any wet stock in a bunded tank and carry out regular check’s on seals and the container to ensure it is all intact. If storing in barrels than ballets or an IBC then a pallet should be the platform as a minimum.
AdBlue is very easy to use and is a harmless substance. It is not a fuel, nor a fuel additive but a high purity urea solution that must be used in a dedicated tank on your vehicle, that should just be refilled as and when required. AdBlue is non-flammable and non-explosive. It is classified as a transportable fluid with minimal risk. If you ever spill AdBlue on your hands, simply wash them thoroughly with water.
Always pour AdBlue into the AdBlue tank. Both the nozzle pistol and filler cap of the tank are clearly marked, ensure diesel is never filled into the AdBlue tank. only use AdBlue equipment when storing or refilling AdBlue. Make sure you are wearing protective clothing if you are handling large quantities of AdBlue where there is the risk of a spill.
If you spill AdBlue on the ground, in a vehicle or on a painted surface, rinse thoroughly with water and do not leave spilt AdBlue unwashed.
According to the Pollution Prevention Guidelines the use of ERS (Emission Reduction Solutions) such as AdBlue require a dedicated supplementary spill kit to deal with any spillages as other spill kits are not suitable. If an ERS gets into the environment it can seriously pollute groundwater and surface waters.
The Spill kit designated for your AdBlue product must be verified as AdBlue compliant. Most kits will contain highly absorbent pads manufactured in melt blown polypropylene, GP pads which have a double sided fine fibre finish, to prevent linting and improve grip on smooth floors.
When referring to the PPG 7 It states below,
‘The safe operation of refuelling facilities: PPG 7
9.1 Emission reduction solutions (ERS), for example AdBlue (summary)
If they get into the environment, ERS can seriously pollute groundwater and surface waters. It’s important that they are stored, dispensed and handled correctly. ERS are soluble in water and should be kept out of surface water drainage systems that discharge to the environment. It will not be removed in an oil separator so it’s important to isolate the ERS dispensing area drainage from the surface water system to reduce the possibility of spills and drips causing pollution. If this isn’t possible, your site management systems should make sure any spills of ERS are cleaned up immediately with propriety sorbents.’
Because of this guidance note If a spillage does occur you must also protect the environment and surrounding water drainage systems meaning a drain protector should also be in your kit for handling an Ad Blue Spillage.