Innovation and Technology

AdBlue®

The German automotive industry has always kept ahead of the European Union’s exhaust emission legislation with the pace of its technological development. The Euro VI exhaust emission standard will come into force for cars in 2014.

The Euro 6 standard has applied throughout Europe for type tests of new cars since September 1, 2014; from September 1, 2015 onwards, it will be binding on all newly registered vehicles. In addition to this exhaust emissions level called Euro 6 b, work is currently ongoing as part of a Euro 6 c level to produce RDE legislation (Real Driving Emissions). According to a proposal by the EU Commission, the RDE regulation will become binding on new types of vehicle from September 2017 onwards, and for all new vehicles one year later.

Above all with regard to nitrous oxide emissions, the RDE legislation is regarded as the greatest challenge facing diesel vehicles since the introduction of EU exhaust emissions standards. In addition to a further reduction in engine-out emissions, two systems have proven effective in reducing nitrous oxides for almost one decade now, depending on the vehicle weight and its engine: the NOx storage catalytic converter (NSC or LNT) and selective catalytic reduction, abbreviated as: SCR.

In SCR technology, aqueous diesel exhaust fluid, AdBlue® is injected into the exhaust stream using injection technology. Ammonia is released and, in the subsequent SCR catalytic converter, it reduces up to 80 percent of the nitrous oxides (NOx) into harmless nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O). Diesel models equipped in this way comply with the values of the Euro 6 exhaust emission standard with NOx post-treatment. AdBlue® is a significant component of this highly efficient and clean drive concept. SCR technology and AdBlue® have laid the foundation in vehicle technology for diesel-powered commercial vehicles to reduce their pollution emissions – especially of nitrous oxides.

In heavy vehicles, AdBlue® has proven itself as an effective solution for post-treatment of exhaust gases and is in widespread use. AdBlue®’s time has now also come for diesel-driven passenger cars. This is because a significant proportion of diesel cars that comply with the Euro 6 exhaust emission standard will be equipped with an SCR system. One in two new cars registered in Western Europe is a diesel vehicle, which means the number of cars with SCR technology is set to rise. For example, the proportion of SCR models produced by German carmakers increased by about 50 percent within only eight months. This upward trend will continue.

The independent institute, Integer Research, published a forecast that is in line with other studies indicating annual production of between 5 and 7 million cars, SUV and van models with SCR technology in Europe up to the year 2020. A study by the VDA revealed that 20 million vehicles from German brands will be driving on Western Europe’s roads by 2020 equipped with this modern technology. AdBlue® consumption depends on the vehicle weight and the individual driving style. On average, a car will consume about 1.5 liters per 1,000 kilometers.

A comprehensive infrastructure for providing cars with AdBlue® is currently being established throughout Europe. The number of replenishment points is still relatively low. Until AdBlue® pumps are available across the entire network, bottles containing 1 to 2 liters or canisters with 5 liters are helping to provide a transitional solution. Fuel stations offer both types of container. With increasing numbers of relevant vehicles on the roads, convenient AdBlue® pumps will be installed at fuel stations throughout Europe. The mineral oil and automotive industries must work closely together on setting up a comprehensive network for cars all over Europe. Several garages are already installing AdBlue® pumps. The mineral oil industry is testing modern AdBlue® replenishment points in cooperation with German vehicle manufacturers, and is transferring the first results into further improvements of the technology used at the replenishment points.

Demand will show where further pumps can be installed. A map such as that on the findadblue.com website will inform drivers of modern diesel vehicles with an SCR system where they can replenish their AdBlue® tanks in future. As a result, car drivers will conveniently find an up-to-date list of where replenishment points are available. Navigation devices and mobile applications will also play their part in guiding AdBlue® customers to the nearest outlet.

The AdBlue® brochure published in German and English offers an overview of the product, its operating method, handling and infrastructure questions for anyone who is interested. The AdBlue® flyer contains all important information about the product and its practical handling in a clearly laid-out format for anyone who is interested. The flyer is also available in German and English.

Dr. Ralf Scheibach
Dr. Ralf Scheibach Head of Department Law and Insurance

Tel: +49 30 897842-260 Fax: +49 30 897842-600
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