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Is AdBlue Toxic?

AdBlue is used to reduce nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines. AdBlue is sprayed into the vehicle’s exhaust system where it reacts with NOx, breaking it down into harmless oxygen and nitrogen particles.

Because the urea solution is added to the fuel system, many people believe it to be toxic. This is not the case, however. AdBlue is made up of a non-hazardous mix of 67.5% deionised water and 32.5% urea.

blue liquid

What is deionised water?

Natural water contains several compounds such as Calcium, Chloride, Sodium, Sulphate and Magnesium. Deionised water is natural water that has been purified to remove most of these impurities.

Deionised water is not the same as distilled water. The deionisation process does not remove potentially harmful molecules such as bacteria and viruses. Deionised water also contains fewer minerals than distilled water.

What is urea?

Urea is a natural compound that is made in the liver of humans and other mammals. That is why you often hear people say AdBlue is manufactured from pig urine. This is a myth, however. While pig urine does contain urea, it is not used to manufacture AdBlue.

The urea in AdBlue is synthetically created. In fact, urea was the first natural compound to be artificially created way back in 1828. Synthetic AdBlue is manufactured by heating ammonium carbamide and combining it with ammonia and carbon dioxide. This process dehydrates the compound leaving the crystal-like substance urea.

Non-toxic, but still a pollutant

While AdBlue is non-toxic, it’s still a pollutant that can cause lasting environmental damage if it leaks into groundwater. AdBlue should, therefore, always be stored in double-skinned containers. Check out our guide on how to store AdBlue safely.

We are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of AdBlue. We supply AdBlue in a range of pre-containerised solutions from 10L to 1000L. Bulk delivery to your storage tank can also be arranged.

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