AdBlue® is resold and distributed to the transport companies and trucks in different ways. These can be divided into supply to tank stations (Retail) and transport companies and fleet operators (Home Base).
Tank stations sell the product in cans in the pump shop. The product is available at thousands of tank stations. Tank stations sell the product “from the nozzle”, like fuel, as well. Product is stored in special equipment and vehicle tanks are filled with special dispensers, approved according to local Weight and Measures regulations. Product is available from the international fuel companies, smaller local fuel companies, regional small networks owned by local and regional fuel distributors and some individual tank stations.
Transport companies and fleet owners are supplied in bulk, IBCs, drums and cans. The supply chain is direct from the AdBlue® producer/supplier or via resellers such as fuel- and lubricants distributors, truck dealers, truck parts dealers, and others.
Arom-dekor Kemi according to VDA requirements prepared the guidelines for all customers how to use and storage AdBlue®
HANDLING, TRANSPORT AND STORAGE
ISO 22241-3 describes best practice recommendations and requirements for handling, transportation and storage of AdBlue®. These recommendations and requirements are necessary to secure the quality characteristics of AdBlue® from the point of production as far as the product is filled into the onboard tank of the vehicle.
In Table 1 of ISO 22241-3 materials are listed, which are compatible with AdBlue®. It is essential to use the correct materials in order to avoid contamination of the product and to resist corrosion of the devices used (containers, tubes, valves, fittings, gaskets, hoses, etc.). It is possible to use other materials than those recommended in table 1 of ISO 22241-3, under the precondition that appropriate tests of compatibility has been conducted, such as ISO 22241-3 paragraph 4.1.1. In order to avoid any impairment of the AdBlue® quality characteristics prolonged transportation or storage below −5 °C and above 25 °C should be avoided. The product should be protected from sunlight. To avoid contamination during transport and storage either completely closed containers, or containers with air-vents with protective filters should be used.
All surfaces in direct contact with AdBlue® shall be free of foreign matter (fuel, oil, grease, detergent, dust and any other substance). Surfaces of equipment not exclusively used with AdBlue® shall be cleaned before use. The cleaning process should take into consideration the chemical nature of the last three products transported or 11 stored. Effectiveness of cleaning can be verified by analyzing the quality characteristics of the material used for a last rinsing according the methods specified in ISO 22241-2.
IBCS (INTERMEDIATE BULK CONTAINERS)
IBCs are usually new before first use for AdBlue®. Some producers use reconditioned IBCs, which have been used for other products and are cleaned before use for AdBlue®. IBCs could be used several times for AdBlue® and 1-way as well. It is not recommended to use reconditioned IBCs. In case they are used, they must be cleaned and checked according to the guidelines for non-dedicated transport equipment.
IBCs are often fitted with a so-called CDS-connection (Coupling Device System) or similar. This is a dry-break connection that enables connection of a pump to take the product from the IBC, without actually opening the IBC. This ensures product quality.
IBCs are sealed after filling. IBCs returned for refill with a broken seal (seal connected to the filling cap is not in place anymore) are obligated for cleaning in accordance to the procedures, as described in ISO 22241 part 3 (point 4.3). In case of any doubt IBC should not be used for AdBlue® anymore.
IBCs are in general filled at the production location of AdBlue® or at a distribution location where professional and dedicated equipment is used to fill IBCs in a clean and controlled environment. More and more suppliers fill IBCs at the location of the customer. Very often just by using the hose to unload the bulk tanker to fill IBCs. This is one of the largest quality risks in the distributionchain and requires reasonable procedures, defined by the producers (licensees), to prevent any risk for AdBlue® quality.
Drums are in general new, used 1-way, or several times with a CDS connector and filled in clean and controlled conditions. Drums are usually sealed after filling.
Cans are always new, used 1 way and filled in clean and controlled conditions. Cans are sealed after filling. Cans are advised to be sold with a corresponding spout to ensure quality of the product.