Adblue’ Use With The Royal Mail Light Commercial Fleet (LCVs) Including New Car Derived Vans (CDVs):
To: All Branches
Following discussions with the RMG Fuel & Environment Manager and Fleet Management Team on the above subject, the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department is publishing information in relation to new additional and replacement Light Commercial Diesel Vehicles (LCVs) including Car Derived Diesel Vans (CDVs) within the Royal Mail Group Fleet which are now beginning to be delivered into Offices across the Country. These new vehicles must meet the new Euro 6 exhaust emissions standards and will now come fitted with ‘AdBlue’ tanks. Drivers will notice the presence of a smaller blue or black cap adjacent to the main Diesel fuel cap — this is for ‘AdBlue’.
Reducing Pollution, Protecting The Environment and Improving Health:
The motor industry has been reacting to demands from Governments for cleaner engines and taking more steps to ensure that new cars and vans are producing cleaner emissions. For diesel vehicles, the introduction of ‘AdBlue’ has been commonplace, with many manufacturers equipping their newer models with systems that use the fluid to produce less harmful emissions. This product is set to play a big part in the greener future of the industry, so it is important that Drivers know what it is and what they need to do with it. To dispel any confusion and to make sure members are reliably informed about this essential product, this comprehensive guidance contains everything they need to know about ‘AdBlue’.
What does Euro 6 mean?
From September 2016, all new Diesel Cars and Vans sold must meet the new stricter Euro 6 Standards which came into force on 1st September, for Exhaust Emissions of NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) and other Pollutants. Euro 6 (also known as EU6 or Euro VI) is the latest round of regulation set by the European Commission governing the amount of harmful exhaust gases motor vehicles can emit.
Compared with the previous Euro 5 (also known as EU5 or Euro V) emissions standard, which focused largely on carbon dioxide emissions – the CO2 that is currently used to set road tax bands for cars in the UK – Euro 6 is particularly targeting nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. But it will also reduce sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and diesel particulate matter emissions, as well as CO2.
NOx emissions have been scientifically linked to respiratory diseases and other health issues, and environmental damage including acid rain. Depending on fuel type (and diesel is the main issue), the Euro 6 standard forces vehicle makers to reduce NOx by more than 55 percent, and it’s a mandatory requirement for all new light commercial vehicles from September 2016. The Euro 6 emissions standard aims to make vehicles cleaner and greener as global concerns for the environment deepen.
‘AdBlue’ and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Technology – Why Is It Needed?
‘Adblue is an essential component of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, which is one of the most effective systems for reducing the nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels in the exhaust fumes that are outputted by diesel engines. NOx is one of the most harmful pollutants emitted by engines, as it reacts with other gases in the atmosphere to form small particles and ozone, both of which can damage sensitive lung tissue in humans and animals.
To comply with the new rules, car and van makers have had to focus on minimising harmful nitrogen-oxide emissions. Introducing a technology known as ‘selective catalytic reduction’ (SCR) has been found to be an extremely effective way of bringing diesel engines up to the standard required to meet Euro 6. It’s used by many manufacturers. An SCR system uses a solution of urea and water (AdBlue), injected in tiny amounts into vehicle exhaust Gases. ‘AdBlue’ technology has been increasingly appearing in new Diesel cars and vans, designed to help reduce exhaust emissions and helping the environment as well as the health of the population, particularly in Towns and Cities.
What is AdBlue – Is it Safe?
AdBlue is a 32.5% solution of high-purity Aqueous Urea Solution or Urea in de-mineralized water (67.5%) that is clear and is classified as non-dangerous, non-toxic, safe to handle and easy to use. It is non explosive, non flammable nor harmful to the environment. AdBlue’ is classified under the minimum risk category of transportable fluids, on Safety Data Sheets and within COSHH. It is used with the vehicle’s Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen from the exhaust of UK Diesel vehicles. Although it’s non-toxic, AdBlue is corrosive and can cause irritation to your skin, eyes and lungs, so do wash your hands after filling. Be sure to rinse any spills from the vehicle’s bodywork too, because ‘AdBlue’ can damage paintwork.
How does AdBlue work?
The Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system injects microscopic quantities of the ‘AdBlue’ liquid into the flow of exhaust gases. When the ‘AdBlue (Urea and Water) solution combines with exhaust emissions, it produces nitrogen and oxygen – harmless gases that occur naturally in the environment – by breaking down mono-nitrogen oxides (gases that can be harmful and are found particularly in the fumes from diesel exhausts).
This technology has been used in buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) for a long time, so its effectiveness has been proven and its reliability is better than ever. All Heavy Commercial Vehicles over 3.5t have required ‘Adblue’ for some time and, from 1 September, all newly purchased Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) including Car Derived Vans (CDVs) will also need it.
How Will LCV Drivers Get Vans Re-Filled and Topped-Up with AdBlue?
LCVs/CDVs will not need to visit Royal Mail Fleet Workshops for top ups. Instead, Royal Mail Group drivers will be asked to undertake the task as part of their normal driver checks. Ten litre packs of Adblue are on order by Royal Mail from DAF for drivers to top up at their offices although vehicles will be delivered with a full ‘Adblue’ tank so it’s unlikely that top ups will be required until the scheduled workshop vehicle inspection. Managers are currently handing out special ‘Information Flashcards’ to LCV Fleet drivers. The ten litre packs of ‘AdBlue’ are being ordered via the Royal Mail Group Fuel Team using a special, provided order form. The process for HGVs remains the same – they will continue to fill up at the 60 bulk tanks sites that are dotted around the country. The bulk tanks are not fit for purpose for LCVs as the fill rate is too fast and unnecessary mileage would be incurred for top ups between inspections.
Does The Van Use ‘AdBlue’?
SCR technology with ‘AdBlue’ will now become increasingly commonplace as more of the Euro 6 Standard Vehicles are introduced, but it obviously isn’t yet fitted to every Diesel Van or Car. Many Drivers are unaware the system is installed until a warning message appears on the dashboard announcing the ‘AdBlue’ tank needs replenishing. As the SCR system has no effect at all on how the Van or Car drives, it’s not always obvious whether a vehicle is so-equipped. It’s therefore important Drivers are aware of the new vans with SCR systems that require ‘AdBlue’, the attached information will help raise awareness. Drivers can check it for the location of the ‘AdBlue’ filler cap. When the SRC and ‘AdBlue’ system is fitted the ‘AdBlue’ filler, which in most Vans is commonly beside the fuel filler, but some Cars have it concealed by the boot carpet, either on the floor or at either side.
How Much ‘AdBlue’ Will The Van Use?
‘AdBlue’ consumption varies from vehicle to vehicle. Fortunately, because ‘AdBlue’ is injected into the exhaust gases in very small quantities, Drivers shouldn’t find themselves topping up too often. With most ‘AdBlue’ tanks holding around 10 litres or more, many drivers will find ‘AdBlue’ refills taken care of during their Vehicle’s annual service. Obviously, much like fuel consumption, though, the more mileage the vehicle covers and the harder and faster it’s driven will mean that more ‘AdBlue’ is used. The Royal Mail Fleet Management Team states that driver top ups will not be required until the New Year and further Comms will be issued by Royal Mail Fleet. From initial analysis by Royal Mail Fleet, it suggests that drivers will only be required to fill up the tank with ‘AdBlue’ once per year per vehicle. However, those drivers who cover higher mileages may find that refilling their vehicle’s ‘AdBlue’ tank becomes a more frequent task. Fortunately, filling the ‘AdBlue’ tank is a straightforward, simple process. Drivers are reminded in plenty of time to do this by messages on the dashboard. Average consumption of AdBlue is generally 5% of diesel use, so drivers will need to tank up much less for AdBlue than for diesel. Vans will use about 5 litres of AdBlue to every 100 litres of diesel.
Royal Mail Group Driver Training?
Driver ‘Flashcards’ have been produced for the driver training and the supply of ‘Adblue’ has been secured with the supplier.
How to Refill The ‘AdBlue’ Tank?
Royal Mail Fleet Management has advised that refilling the ‘AdBlue tank can become a driver task. Attached is a copy of the Royal Mail Fleet Drivers ‘Top Up’ Information and guidance sheet and a copy of the ‘GreenChem’ Fuelling Information Sheet. ‘GreenChem hold the RMG national supply contract for ‘AdBlue’.
Storing AdBlue? AdBlue can be stored for 18 months if this is done in the correct manner, i.e. away from direct sunlight. It needs to be protected from too warm or too cold temperatures. Its freezing point is at -11 degrees Celsius. When it thaws, the product will retain its initial quality. It should be stored in a sealed package and in a well ventilated storage area.
What happens if an engine runs without AdBlue? From 1,500 miles before the tank is empty an orange warning and audible warning reminds the driver at every engine start of the need to top up the Adblue as well as giving the remaining range. If the driver continues until the tank is empty, when the vehicle is switched off the engine will not start.
What happens if you get splashed with AdBlue?
Simply remove any contaminated clothing and wash the affected areas with running water. If any irritation persists or an allergic reaction occurs, seek medical attention.
How do you clean up a spill? Clean it up with water.
AdBlue Filler Cap Images Information Sheet
AdBlue Top Up Information Sheet
GreenChem Fuelling Information Sheet
AdBlue 10 Litre Pack Order Form
AdBlue COSHH Assessment Sheet
AdBlue SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) Diesel System Diagram Information Sheet
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
Email Attachments – Click to download
Attachment 1 – LTB700/16 ‘Adblue’ Use With The Royal Mail Light Commercial Fleet (LCVs) Including New Car Derived Vans (CDVs):