AdBlue Explained: The Simple Science Behind Reducing Diesel Pollution


Why do we need AdBlue?

Put simply, too much nitrogen oxide (NOx) is not good for the planet. Nitrous oxide occurs naturally as part of the Earth’s nitrogen cycle, however human activity now contributes to 40% of all NOx present in the atmosphere. Diesel fumes make up a significant part of that.  

Before the 2016 Euro 6 regulations, diesel cars had no method to reducing the amount of nitrogen oxide they emit. But a couple of years ago, the industry decided it was probably time to catch up with what haulage and agriculture had already been doing for a long time.

Using ammonia can almost completely eradicate NOx from diesel fumes.

Thus, the introduction of Adblue to diesel vehicles. If you’ve bought a new diesel since 2016, you should have seen one of these somewhere on your vehicle.

What is AdBlue?

For such a groundbreaking innovation, Adblue is actually a very simple solution. Adblue is a mixture of 67.5% demineralised water and 32.5% urea. That’s all.

Urea? Like…pee? Yes! We do have about 2-3% urea in our urine. Urea isn’t directly useful to tackle nitrogen oxides; Adblue is used because it is possible to extract ammonia. Ammonia is far too dangerous to handle. Urea makes it safe for to fill up your own tank when it runs out.

We don’t want to get too scientific but chemically this is what happens when Adblue is heated.

When Adblue is injected into the hot exhaust gas, it causes the solution to decompose and form both ammonia and carbon dioxide.

The ammonia then reacts with the harmful nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gas to create nitrogen and water.

This diagram shows what is happening in your exhaust pipe

AMI vehicle leasing are able to supply AdBlue at an extremely competitive rate. For enquiries, please call 01992 554 184 to speak to a helpful member of our team.

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