The diesel sector can no longer do without AdBlue. Demand is rapidly increasing, along with the requirements imposed on suppliers to deliver the urea solution to the customer cheaply, flexibly and reliably. Vehicle manufacturers have developed various solutions in recent years, some of which have already been successfully implemented in practice. We offer you three examples.

Starting position

The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) established that more than 1.1 million new diesel-powered cars, all of which are equipped with SCR technology, were registered in 2018 alone, despite all the negative debate concerning the diesel engine. As is well known, SCR stands for “Selective Catalytic Reduction”, a form of exhaust gas cleaning in which an up to 90 per cent reduction in nitrogen emission is achieved in the vehicle using the urea solution AdBlue.

Already in use in trucks for more than 15 years, an increasing number of Euro6 diesel cars also employ this technology. Service stations consider it an important additional product and are increasingly equipping their stations for private cars with AdBlue tank systems too. AdBlue however is not only required here, but also by hauliers, in agriculture or for the vehicles of construction companies.

The AdBlue consumption of a truck generally amounts to some 4 to 6 per cent of the fuel consumption. Depending on the vehicle type, a car requires a litre of AdBlue every 1000 to 1500 kilometres.

Hence, wherever diesel is needed, AdBlue is required too.

According to this basic principle, several vehicle manufacturers in recent years have developed systems, which aside from a special vehicle exclusively designed for AdBlue, make it possible to convey diesel and AdBlue to the customer simultaneously with a delivery vehicle and suit the needs of medium-sized consumers.

This has resulted in versatile, practical and cost-effective technical solutions, particularly for medium-sized diesel suppliers.

AdBlue refuelling module and fully integrated AdBlue tank compartment from Kurt Willig GmbH & Co. KG

The starting signal was given by the vehicle constructor Willig from Straubing, who as early as 2012 presented a “piggyback” system at the expo PetroTrans also allowing use of conventional vehicles for AdBlue delivery. The compact, insulated GRP sandwich housing contains everything required for AdBlue delivery: filling and dispensing device, in addition to a stainless steel tank. Warm-air heating and a filling level display are also possible.

The AdBlue refuelling module consists of a stainless steel container with a choice of 600 or 900 L (gross) capacity, a measuring unit module – optionally as a calibratable or non-calibratable version, an electric pump and max. 30 m full hose. It can be firmly incorporated in the vehicle or designed to be removable. In the latter version, it is equipped with forklift pockets by means of which it can be easily mounted and dismounted. The GRP housing provides the necessary insulation. Optionally, an electric heating system (700 W) can be added. The entire module can also be incorporated in a front or rear cabinet – without insulation in this case.

Quick-release fasteners ensure that the housing is simple to remove with the aid of a forklift truck. The low depth avoids an excessive rear projection.

Willig has developed a fully integrated tank compartment for vehicles intended to constantly deliver AdBlue and diesel fuel. This can be built into the tank as a “non-ADR compartment”. Here too, a sturdy, approximately two to three millimetre-thick GRP inliner ensures long-term protection of the wall material against the corrosive urea solution. Depending on the tank shape, the AdBlue compartment can hold 2000 litres or more. The fittings and dome cover are made of AdBlue-resistant materials. The corresponding measuring system is available in calibratable or non-calibratable versions. The delivery fittings can be incorporated in an insulated cabinet if desired.

Image caption: Christian Zankl from Kurt Willig GmbH & Co. KG presented a “piggyback” system for efficient AdBlue delivery for the first time at the trade fair in Kassel in 2012.

The “BlueFix” from Lindner & Fischer Fahrzeugbau GmbH

The vehicle constructor from Langenau presented an innovative idea for AdBlue delivery – practical, easy to handle and elegant – at the expo PetroTrans 2018.

The new Lindner&Fischer “L&F BlueFix” concept for simultaneously transporting diesel and AdBlue consists of a stainless steel tank with a gross volume of 1000 litres, which can be individually adapted to the tanker and its container as well as to suit the remaining configuration. Lindner & Fischer has therefore supplemented its existing construction site range, which includes vehicles with rear cabinets and stainless steel containers of approximately 400 to 800 litres in the rear cabinets.

The “BlueFix” tank module is mounted at the rear of the tank body, where a device is located to which the tank can be attached from above. The additional container for the necessary stabilisation can be installed underneath in a few simple moves. Both mounting and dismounting can be performed with either a forklift truck, a small crane or directly using the “BlueFix” mounting and storage device. The latter also serves to store the AdBlue tank safely when not required for delivery.

If no AdBlue is seasonally required, particularly on construction sites and in agriculture, the tanker retains the maximum possible payload for transporting fuel oil and is unrestrictedly available in winter for example for supplying customers with fuel oil or diesel.

Trailer operation is also unaffected: both the trailer coupling and required connecting lines can be used without restriction.

The vehicle dimensions remain identical in terms of length, wheelbase and frame overhang to those of a tanker not equipped with the “L&F BlueFix”. Only the vehicle height increases very slightly depending on the tank size to compensate for the 1000 litres required at the rear for the AdBlue container.

“You hardly notice that an additional tank is mounted on the rear of the vehicle, as it fits almost seamlessly on to the main tank and both are only separated by a minor visible joint. The overall visual appearance remains unchanged. When the AdBlue container has been removed, you cannot tell that anything is missing either”, Stefan Lindner describes.

The delivery fittings, including the pump and full hose unit are housed in the “BlueFix” fittings box on the rear right of the vehicle. As a further configuration stage, it is planned to mount the dispensing device on a mobile base plate to allow its complete removal. This would also increase the available payload if the AdBlue container were not used.

The dry coupling push-fit system allows simple connection of the tank to the pump line. The AdBlue container is filled from above via an external pump. Optionally, self-filling via a reversible pump is also possible.

The “L&F BlueFix” content display operates either based on a dipstick system or directly via the Lindner & Fischer driver information system (FIS).
In conjunction with the “TIGER 3003” measuring system from Bartec, the AdBlue dispensing unit with the new “Bartec 3003 chem”, the versatile and MID-authorised measuring system for urea and other liquids, can be controlled and operated through a common computer in the fittings box. This means that both diesel and AdBlue delivery is performed via a calibrated dispensing system. Only a single common computer and likewise only one printer are required for both. Consequently, collective documents are issued for the diesel and AdBlue quantities for each place of delivery. Furthermore, advantage can be taken of all the “TIGER” system equipment operations, such as for example integration in the mineral oil company’s office communication.

Image caption: fits snugly and seamlessly on the tanker to form a visual unit: the “L&F BlueFix”.

Tank-integrated AdBlue solution from Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Esterer GmbH & Co. Fahrzeugaufbauten und Anlagen KG

Little expenditure, optimised transport and dispensing, high vehicle cost-effectiveness. These are only a few of the aims pursued by Esterer when the vehicle constructor from Helsa, in conjunction with its customers, developed an AdBlue dispensing device integrated in the tanker.
In 2014 already, an integrated AdBlue dispensing device was on display at the Esterer exhibition stand at the expo PetroTrans. The key arguments in its favour: on-site refuelling calls for little effort and can be performed by one operator with a single vehicle. The space-saving design means that the capacity for straight diesel or fuel oil transport remains within the profitable range. Furthermore, it was already possible at that time to install the measurement technology systems optionally as a calibrated version to allow on-site invoicing.

In the meantime, the vehicle constructors from Helsa have jointly developed with their customers a new AdBlue dispensing device integrated in the vehicle that allows flexible, simultaneous delivery of diesel and AdBlue. This saves time and money. At the current expo PetroTrans too, a vehicle was presented that offers an optimised solution for transport and dispensing of AdBlue.

“We frequently work hand in hand with our customers in developing innovations. This was also the case with the new tank-integrated AdBlue solution. It emerged based on a wide range of customer requirements”, Erhard Gunkel, the product group leader for road tankers at Esterer, reports.
The result is a tanker with a separate tank compartment for AdBlue “that sets new standards in terms of ease of use, quality and versatility”, as Esterer explains. “The AdBlue tank compartment capacity of 2500 to 3500 litres makes the vehicle versatile in use” says Gunkel. Account can therefore be taken of the constantly increasing need for AdBlue, on construction sites or in agriculture for instance. The integrated AdBlue solution optimises vehicle deployment, as additional transports of AdBlue are avoided. Flexibility is also increased depending on the size of the AdBlue tank compartment. Whether small quantities or greater AdBlue® requirements are involved: the volume available makes it possible to cover everything in a single trip.

A further asset is the vehicle’s high cost-effectiveness outside the diesel business as well: the AdBlue innovation is also ideally suited for supplies in the fuel oil area and en route in 40-ton trains. Erhard Gunkel summarises thus: “the feedback from our customers is downright positive – we have already won a lot of praise for the advantages of the new product. A thorough success in every respect!”

The new AdBlue solution from Esterer has already proven its worth in practical use. AdBlue can be dispensed both directly to the vehicle (with an output of up to 35 litres per minute) or also to larger containers with up to 200 litres a minute. The AdBlue compartment of the tanker is generally filled by means of an external pump or optionally by a hydraulically driven on-board pump operating in suction mode. Dispensing is performed according to the provisions of statutory metrology.

Ansgar Nonhoff, the head of technology and development at Esterer, explains: “The AdBlue compartment is arranged centrally in the tank. A compartment for fuel oil or diesel is located in front of and behind the AdBlue tank respectively. “At around 250 kilos, the extra weight from the AdBlue dispensing device is minimal – a further benefit that also contributes to the high profitability.

Image caption: separate AdBlue dispensing device on an Esterer tanker