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DEF and the ISO 22241 Standard

January 2016


Thunder Creek Equipment’s DEF delivery solutions meet the ISO 22241 standard for transporting and storing diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).  They are designed and constructed in a way to protect the integrity of both the fluid and the machinery’s SCR system.

What is DEF?

DEF is a colorless, non-hazardous and non-flammable liquid composed of 67.5% de-ionized water and 32.5% urea.  It is used during Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to remove nitrous oxide and particulate matter from the exhaust of diesel engines. SCR is the process being used, in part or in whole, by large equipment manufacturers to meet strict emissions regulations set forth by the EPA.

Though DEF is relatively safe, it is sensitive to chemical impurities.  Even a small concentration of trace elements which would otherwise be harmless in fuels and other fluids can contaminate a tank of DEF.  Contaminated DEF loses its effectiveness at removing nitrous oxide and particulate matter from diesel engine exhaust. It can cause malfunctions within the machinery's SCR system, shutting down the equipment and voiding the warranty. For machinery operators, the greatest vulnerability to contamination exists when DEF is transferred from the bulk supply the machinery's SCR system.

The ISO Standard

ISO International Standards ensure that products are safe, reliable and of good quality.  Part three of the ISO 22241 standard deals specifically with the best practices for handling, transporting and storing DEF. Thunder Creek’s DEF systems are built in full compliance with the recommendations put forth in this standard.

“It’s imperative that DEF is stored in a container that was designed and manufactured in accordance to the ISO standard.” says Loren Van Wyk, a developer of the Thunder Creek systems.  “If you use a tank and pumping system that is not build to the standard, you introduce contaminates that can damage a SCR system which in turn shuts down the engine it's mounted on.”

Manufacturing Materials and Processes

DEF can be contaminated when it comes into direct contact with certain materials and is corrosive with others.  As such, the standard identifies metals and plastics that are compatible as well as those that are not recommended.  The Thunder Creek DEF system uses 304 grade stainless steel and EPDM rubber which resist corrosion and prevent contamination according to the ISO standard.

The standard also recommends that all fluid paths be cleaned prior to use with DEF to remove any trace elements, particles and foreign matter.  Each Thunder Creek DEF system is purged in accordance with ISO 22241 immediately before it is sealed at the factory.

A Closed System

DEF can also be compromised when it comes into contact with airborne contaminates.  The standard recommends that DEF be stored and transported in either a closed container or a vented container with filters.  In the case of vented containers, the user must empty, clean and close the system after each use.  With an exclusive, patent-pending two-in-one pumping system, the Thunder Creek DEF delivery solution allows users to maintain a completely closed system ensuring there is no atmospheric exchange while transferring DEF between the bulk supply and the SCR system.

Cold Weather and DEF

The ISO standard also recommends that precautions be taken to keep DEF from freezing as it can cause a fully filled, closed container to burst.  The Thunder Creek system features a sloped tank design to minimize damage in the event DEF should freeze.  A heater options is available for those users who live in climates where the DEF would be exposed to prolonged temperatures below 23˚F / 10 ˚C.

Thunder Creek Equipment’s DEF Solutions

Thunder Creek systems meet the ISO standard. Owners can be confident that the DEF will not be contaminated while being transported thereby maintaining the performance of their machinery’s SCR system.