Just as a whole batch of new fifty state-legal diesel vehicles
are about to hit the market in the U.S., chemical company BASF is set to take advantage of the situation. BASF has announced that they will be raising the price of AdBlue by €45 per 1,000 liters. AdBlue is the 1/3 urea, 2/3 water solution used for the NOx after-treatment system in new diesel
engines. The urea solution is injected into the exhaust gas stream where the heat of the exhaust causes it turn into ammonia by a hydrolysis reaction. The ammonia reacts with the exhaust in a special catalyst to turn the NOx into nitrogen and water.
The only reason for using the urea solution instead of straight urea is to allow for more precise dosing so that it lasts longer and no excess is used and passed through the exhaust. The Mercedes
vehicles that are coming to market with urea injection systems that hold about 4-5 gallons of AdBlue which needs to be replenished every 15,000 miles or so. BASF claims the price increase is due to tight raw material supplies and the need to ensure product quality.