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Can Truckstops Distribute DEF as a Pill?

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Thought Leader, Diesel Exhaust Fluid


/// Guest post by contributor Bill BuzbeeTerra Environmental Technologies (TET), a CF Industries Co.

The demand for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is on the rise and truckstop and travel plaza operators are responding by stocking jugs and offering bulk DEF at the pumps. As they evaluate their options for adding this new service they have many questions. To help operators prepare, we've answered a question recently asked of us by a NATSO member below.

Q: We are thinking about installing an underground tank and bulk system on our islands. However, the owner of our location heard someone was coming out with a pill that could be put into the diesel tank that would eliminate the need for DEF. Is this true?

A: DEF is an after-treatment system completely separate from the engine. (See photo below.) You cannot mix DEF in diesel or you will destroy the injectors, pump and diesel engine. You cannot put diesel into the DEF system for it will cause a catastrophic DEF System failure resulting in the truck shutting down.


I suspect what your owner probably heard about was Prill, which is DEF in a solid state much like Scotts Grow fertilizer we use on our lawns. Some companies are converting their liquid DEF to this solid state to ship it across the country at a cheaper freight rate. They still have to bring it to a high temperature on the other end and break it down and re-blend it with demineralized water. They then have to run a complete lab analysis to ensure it meets the EPA specs for the ISO-22241 standard.

This Prill product is only for moving the DEF in a different state (solid instead of liquid) and it still has to be injected into the on-board catalytic converter as a fine liquid mist to cause the chemical reaction required to deliver the 0.2 g/hp-hr NOx required by the EPA standard.

Editor's note: Do you have another DEF question? Reach out to us at and we'll answer it here on NATSO's blog. - AT

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by Bill BuzbeeTerra Environmental Technologies (TET), a CF Industries Co. CF Industries, the largest North American manufacturer of DEF, makes TerraCair®, the choice of leading truck manufacturers for their factory fills and dealerships. CF Industries makes it and oversees the entire distribution chain to ensure product quality in your tank. Leading truck manufacturers depend on TerraCair. You can too! Learn more about Terra Environmental Technologies (TET), a CF Industries Co.

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

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Bill Buzbee

Bill Buzbee

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