Modern diesels need it
Does the Adblue deficiency now endanger local public transport and goods transport?
VW Some diesel engines require the urea additive AdBlue
Site author Carl Christian Jancke
Modern trucks and buses as well as newer diesel cars need the additive Adblue to reduce nitrogen oxide. But that’s going to be tight. Blame the high price of gas and fertilizer prices. Because the federal government overlooked this, the truck industry is now helping itself.
For links on this page, the site may receive. a commission from the dealer, e.g.B. for marked. More infoModern, low-emission trucks and buses depend on the urea product Adblue to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. It is carried in an extra tank, sprayed into the exhaust gas in a special catalytic converter and, depending on the mileage, has to be refilled several times a year. If this does not happen, the vehicles are no longer roadworthy. Responsible for this are EU laws, which stipulate that when the AdBlue tank is empty, the engine may no longer be started.But at more and more gas stations, the shelves with AdBlue canisters remain empty. Blame the high gas price and low fertilizer prices. This shows that the connections are somewhat more complex.
The AdBlue problem of modern diesels
First of all, how is the supply situation?? Already at the beginning of November, Site reported on the first bottlenecks after discussions with freight forwarders and petrol station operators . on the 15th. On November 1st, the Federal Association of Bus Operators published a survey that 415 members answered. Around 40% responded that they were due to Adblue deficiency soon some buses would no longer be able to operate, 32.5 percent stated that they were making losses as a result of the increased costs. Even then, the vehicles may remain in the depot.
Can the diesel engine still be saved??
Can the diesel engine still be saved??
Local transport: buses will soon stand still?
This is so worrying because 55.9% of the operators use their vehicles in local public transport. This should have serious consequences, especially in rural areas, if the students are not picked up despite the schools still being open.
Less than a third of those surveyed state that they still have sufficient stocks. 18.1% stated that they didn’t have enough stocks at all, and 52.5% said they were running out. The shortage of the chemical based on hydrogen and ammonia is not expected to change until spring.
A shortage of trucks is also gradually becoming apparent. A lightning survey by the Federal Association of Freight Transport, Logistics and Disposal (BGL) with 7000 members and around 200.000 trucks revealed that 7% already have an acute shortage and that 68% fear that one will occur.
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Truck industry is now helping itself
On the same day, the BGL announced that it had at least secured the Adblue basic supply for its member companies. He had reached an agreement with the leading manufacturers that SKW nitrogen works PIesteritz GmbH in particular would provide appropriate products at market prices if the companies could not fall back on their usual suppliers.
cattleman Diesel cars with an SCR system need the cleaning fluid AdBlue. The consumption depends on the individual diesel consumption and AdBlue has to be refilled regularly. If the container is empty, the car can no longer be started. Retrofitted cars must also comply with this legal EU requirement
“In the meantime, 150 orders have been received there and delivery is underway,” said BGL board spokesman Dirk Engelhardt to the site. “Thanks to the medium-sized structure of the transport industry, we have ensured that the supply chains do not break. For this, one or the other entrepreneur sat on the box himself and the dispatcher also grabbed the steering wheel of a truck", according to Engelhardt.
How AdBlue is created
Incidentally, unlike petrol and diesel, AdBlue is a "native" product. Natural gas is required for the production of Adblue – but not as an energy source, but as a raw material from which hydrogen is first extracted. Ammonia, which is a versatile product of the chemical industry, is then extracted from it. The nitrogen manufacturers use it to make fertilizers for agriculture and also AdBlue to reduce nitrogen oxides in diesel.
SKW Piesteritz Schematic representation: This is how the diesel additive AdBlue is created – it is a kind of waste product in fertilizer production
To ensure that such a bottleneck does not occur again, the relevant associations have already held talks with the Federal Ministries of Economics, Transport and the Environment. A national emergency reserve is being considered, as is the case with oil. The prices for AdBlue have already risen. So far, the small amounts compared to diesel – a truck only needs around 5 liters of AdBlue for 100 liters of diesel – have not been a relevant cost factor. But that is changing. The forwarder Jan-Hendrik Linnenkamp from Bielefeld, in whose company 25 trucks drive, reports to Site that the price per liter has almost doubled from the original 29 cents. "This makes AdBlue a cost factor", Linnenkamp calculates this for his truck: "For example, with one vehicle we had 115 liters of AdBlue consumption with 3800 liters of diesel, with another it was 300 liters of AdBlue with 7000 liters of diesel." The freight forwarder assumes that there will be another significant price increase in the first quarter of 2022.
Comes a national emergency reserve?
The reason for the shortage is ultimately the high price of gas. Already on the 5th. October the market leader for AdBlue, SKW Piesteritz GmbH, announced a 20 percent reduction in ammonia production. "The level that has now been reached does not allow for economically viable production," said Petr Cinga, Chairman of the Management Board. The price of natural gas, which accounts for around 80 percent of the production costs, has now risen fivefold. “We demand immediate political action. Without government measures, there is a risk of a production stop shortly,” says Cinga. Instead, the medium-sized industry helped itself and arranged for emergency care.
cattleman If the diesel additive AdBlue runs out, there are several warnings in the cockpit. If AdBlue is completely used up, the vehicle may no longer be started
“We are aware of the importance of the systemically important product AdBlue for the functioning of the logistics chain in Germany and the mobility of the citizens. That’s why we’re trying to make everything possible within a responsible framework – it’s important to prevent a possible collapse in logistics," says Christopher Profitlich, Head of Communications at SKW Piesterwitz GmbH. Adblue production has been adjusted to the detriment of other products.
Farmers order less fertilizer
However, the economically producible amounts of hydrogen obtained from natural gas and the resulting ammonia must flow simultaneously into fertilizer production and the production of Adblue. If the production of one substance is reduced, less of the other is produced as well. Therefore, it has an impact on Adblue production when less fertilizer is produced. And on the 28th.In October, SKW had to announce that fertilizer production had been reduced by a further 30%. Because the middlemen do not buy any goods at the high prices, not only is production extremely expensive, but the warehouses are full.
"Unproduced fertilizer is absent in the spring"
Incidentally, in addition to market prices, the CO2 price for natural gas and the shortage of CO2 certificate trading have a significant impact, and this will have a significant impact on agricultural production. "A ton of fertilizer that is not being produced now will be missing in the spring" according to Profitlich. This leads to reduced yields and fewer and more expensive agricultural products for the end consumer.
cattleman Refillable AdBlue canisters are sold at petrol stations. The additive AdBlue is carried in a separate tank and cleans diesel exhaust gases of nitrogen oxides
In the meantime, it is unlikely that all of the nitrogen producer’s wishes can be fulfilled. By bringing the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline into operation as quickly as possible, more natural gas could be delivered to Germany, which would lower the price of gas if demand remained the same. A reform of CO2 trading on the companies concerned should drive speculation out of the market, says Profitlich. This is likely to face even greater political resistance, as many governments are unaware that rising costs for CO2 and fossil fuels will have no impact at all on emissions in the medium term. Such systems are operated on a long-term basis. The long-term demand of the nitrogen producers to produce and provide "green energy in sufficient, this means exorbitant quantities and at economically viable costs" probably falls on open ears with the new government.
The price of diesel is also rising – consumers have to pay for it
Engelhardt, CEO of BGL, is convinced that even the increase in the price of diesel by a whopping 18 cents (excluding the CO2 price) decided by the traffic lights will have no steering effect. “In the end, that only makes the proverbial yoghurt pot on the supermarket shelf more expensive.” The truck provides about 70% of the transport performance in Germany. And for many years to come, diesel trucks will dominate the streets, despite all the electric offensives. “Our companies would like to switch to alternative drives immediately. However, we do not expect sufficient numbers of such vehicles for delivery traffic until 2025 at the earliest, and the widespread introduction of trucks with fuel cells will not take place until 2027", according to Engelhardt.
cattleman The diesel additive AdBlue is a registered trademark of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)
For diesel cars: It is better to stock up
By the way: Car drivers whose diesel engine AdBlue needs should be sufficient in the garage. Because if the Adblue manufacturers primarily supply logisticians and bus companies, there is less left for the diesel car. Depending on the personal mileage, diesel drivers should have one or more canisters in stock, at least until the uncertainty of the supply situation is not over. AdBlue has a shelf life of around two years. Precautions such as those taken when storing fuel are not necessary: AdBlue is neither harmful to the environment nor toxic or flammable.
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