Blue Skies Ahead!

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Blue Sky is a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which is also commonly known as AdBlue. It is sprayed into the exhaust of diesel vehicles to break down dangerous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. This system is called selective catalytic reduction and is more commonly found on newer vehicles. It is stored in a separate tank, typically with a blue filler cap. With the new vehicles enroute to Singapore, equipped with the new diesel tech, we sit down with Stig Uhlen of Prime Blue International and talk about the new diesel tech and how it saves mother earth!

How was Blue Sky DEF developed?
Government legislations first started with power stations, and they had to make it fit into a vehicle. We react to engine manufacturers needs, rather than drive the R&D in the first place. Our R&D is more focused on the handling of the product, and maintaining the standard of the product from the factory to the consumer.

So, it’s all about the EURO Standard. Any Challenges in meeting those?
The Euro6 standard is the same as the standard we already comply with in the USA. The EPA rule is a very strict regulation, it hard to reduce the gases further without significant cost. So, governments are focusing on other emissions to reduce, so the next levels won’t focus on the two gases NOx or particulate matter, it will be more about the CO2 emissions.

Vehicle will look different with more emphasis on reducing fuel consumption, and that’s the way to reduce CO2 emissions. And then you see, Tesla and Japanese and European cars looking at electric, or hybrid cars.

Since all DEFs are the same, how do you keep competitive?
It comes down to service to the customer, and in some cases, service and range of products. An advantage a dealer might have is round-the-clock sales outlets. An example of one of our outlets in California, I have a 24/7 loadout. It’s not just a simple matter of having an outlet, but also the support such as delivery vehicles, tanker trucks, tanks and pumps.

Together with Best Chemical Co, we are offering a 24 hour, walk-in DEF sales point in Singapore, plus an online shop. Autobacs will be offering Blue Sky DEF to end users as well.

Which would be the biggest market for Diesels today?
Certain countries in Europe see up to 60% of the car population powered by diesel. In the US, it’s lower but growing. On the commercial side, locomotives have been going the diesel hybrid electric route now, that is a technology which you might see in a car soon.

We might see the same trend in Singapore. With two distinct markets, the petrol hybrids and the diesels taxis and other commercial vehicles. And with the 2018 Euro6 standards limits approaching, it would be tough for existing vehicles to meet the new limits, and thus we might see an increase in diesels.

With an average temperature of 27 degrees in the tropics, will there be a special type of Blue Sky DEF made to deal with the heat?
The ISO standard was made in the early 2000’s and we have learnt more about the product through testing, the product can actually withstand much more heat than the standard says. The heat is only relevant to the standard, but not relevant in practice. The focus is more on proper housekeeping and ensuring that the DEF is not contaminated from the source to the customer’s vehicles.

If you run out of DEF, can you pee into the container as a temporary replacement?
No! Please don’t do that.

Will it be possible to retrofit an old vehicle to run with DEF?
Hmm, technically possible in a commercial vehicle, but payoff is lower. Most governments will give incentives to change to cleaner vehicles instead, like a hybrid or electric.

So, what do you think about zero-emission electric cars?
With limited range, these cars are great for smaller countries and that’s why we won’t see an end to diesel-powered vehicles any time soon. Diesels are still the king for long distance road journeys and with cleaner diesels on the way, it will continue to be one of the backbones of land transport.

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Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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