What is AdBlue®?

AdBlue is used to reduce NOx emissions in vehicles equipped with SCR technology

AdBlue converts harmful NOx from your diesel vehicle exhaust into harmless nitrogen and steam, therefore considerably reducing the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that are a major source of atmospheric pollution and that lead to smog in urban centres. According to studies done by the World Health Association, NOx emissions are known to aggravate asthma.

Since 2005, legislation on diesel vehicles in Europe demanded a drastic reduction of NOx emissions. Vehicle manufacturers, and first and foremost those of large goods vehicles, had to re-think the exhaust systems on their vehicles. More and more diesel cars, tractors and other non-road vehicles are also now equipped with the SCR system in the exhaust.

Practical tips

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 is filled into a dedicated AdBlue tank on your vehicle, which should be refilled when indicated by your dashboard indicator. AdBlue is not hazardous, as it 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.

Learn more, on how to use AdBlue.

AdBlue, answers to all your questions!

You have just received your new vehicle: a large goods vehicle, van, tractor, off-road vehicle and it is equipped with SCR technology . You now need to also buy some AdBlue. Whatever vehicle you have, you will be using the same type and same quality of AdBlue, and you will use it in the same way.

This short film explains how AdBlue works with the SCR technology:

AdBlue: how is it made?

AdBlue is produced from a high purity urea solution. Urea is produced by the synthesis of ammonia and CO2 (carbon dioxide). Technical urea is found in such products as shampoos, cosmetics and glues. Urea used in AdBlue is of a different quality grade then that used for fertilizers.

Quality AdBlue, as produced by Yara, is directly produced from the urea manufacturing process. This urea solution is then diluted with processed demineralized water. A specific quality and high purity of water is used for AdBlue to avoid all contamination. Using out of specification water in the production of AdBlue is probably the greatest threat to your catalyst, and therefore your vehicle, so it is essential to purchase from a supplier who produces AdBlue to the global ISO specification.

How to choose your AdBlue?

Only buy a product that bears the name AdBlue, manufactured according to the ISO 22241 (ISO-22241-1, ISO-22241-2, ISO-22241-3) standard. SCR systems with which AdBlue is used are very sensitive to potential chemical impurities that can contaminate the urea solution. Even small amounts of impurities can dramatically damage your SCR catalyst performance. Using a quality product will avoid the high costs of having to replace a damaged catalyst.

Warning: most vehicle engine manufacturers will not accept the warranty requests if you have used a low quality AdBlue or a fluid that has been modified incorrectly.

What is SCR technology for trucks, buses, non-road vehicles and cars?

"SCR" is the name of a post-combustion technology treatment for diesel vehicles, which allows them to reduce their emissions of NOx (nitrogen oxides). SCR stands for Selective Catalytic Reduction. This technology requires the use of a reagent called AdBlue. Almost all of the main engine manufacturers have decided to use this technology to meet the requirements of new legislation on NOx (Nitrogen oxides) emissions.

The main components of the SCR system are the:

  • SCR catalyst 
  • AdBlue Fluid injection unit 
  • AdBlue tank
  • AdBlue injection control unit.

The AdBlue is injected from the AdBlue tank into the exhaust pipe, which is in front of the SCR catalyst, but downstream of the engine. As it is heated in the exhaust, the AdBlue changes into ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). When the nitrogen oxide (NOx) gases from the exhaust pipe react inside the catalyst with the ammonia, the harmful NOx molecules in the exhaust are converted into harmless nitrogen and water, which is released to the atmosphere as steam.

To make sure that your SCR system works correctly, please make sure that you only use high quality AdBlue, such as that sold under the brand name Air1 by Yara. This will protect the investment you have made in your vehicle as a low quality reagent would not be pure enough and could be contaminated with impurities. This could cause damage to your catalyst and lead to very high repair costs, that the vehicle manufacturer will not cover.

SCR will be used on new models of vehicles for Euro VI for large goods vehicles and Euro 6 for cars. This is a technology that has already proven itself and one that can be counted upon for the future.

What are the advantages of SCR technology with AdBlue?

AdBlue, combined with SCR technology, is an efficient solution to reduce emissions of NOx from diesel engines. It allows lower CO2 emissions than that of competing solutions like EGR technology. It is also the most economical solution to meet standards for NOx emissions. Major engine and vehicle manufacturers in the world now offer models equipped with SCR and, due to the Euro VI emission standard for large goods vehicles in Europe, this will only strengthen the demand for this technology.

Why should I choose Air1’s AdBlue?

Air1's AdBlue brand is produced and marketed by Yara, the largest AdBlue producer in the world. Our own factories produce Yara’s AdBlue and are located in France (Le Havre), the Netherlands (Sluiskil), Germany (Brunsbuttel) and Italy (Ferrara). These plants are strategically placed to supply our markets with AdBlue. Our Sluiskil site is the largest AdBlue production plant in the world and has a current capacity of 400,000 tons of AdBlue.

For each tank of AdBlue produced in our factories, Yara assigns an identification number. This batch number is given after analysis has been performed to ensure the batch is to the correct specification, and also allows full traceability. This information is available upon request.