U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues guidance letter on Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) quality

Niels Tholen - 13 January 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a guidance letter to heavy-duty on-highway engine manufacturers outlining how it intends to determine the physical range of adjustment of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) quality for certification testing.

According to the EPA, as operator intervention is needed to refill DEF, there is potential for the operator to add liquid other than DEF, either accidentally or intentionally. The agency also stated that a financial motive could exist to refill the DEF tank with other liquids such as diluted DEF.

At the time of EPA certification of the manufacturer's engine, the agency will assess the adequacy of the means used to inhibit DEF quality adjustment. The agency notes that NOx sensors have been able to detect poor DEF quality for many, but not all, DEF dilution scenarios. The incorporation of DEF quality sensors could be a suitable option, and the EPA believes that urea quality sensors can be installed on new vehicles by 2016.

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