AdBlue Storage Requirements

Photograph of Carbery and Harlequin AdBlue Tanks

Fuel Tank Store is a leading supplier of tanks purpose designed for the storage and dispensing of AdBlue. We regularly receive queries and questions from customers on how to store and handle AdBlue correctly and we’ve provided answers to many of these questions below.

What is AdBlue?

AdBlue is a term used to describe a 32.5% solution of Urea in deionised water and manufactured in accordance with the requirements of ISO 22241. It is a registered trademark of Verband der Autombilindustrie (VDA). AdBlue is also sometimes called Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and AUS 32. It is a clear, non-toxic liquid, does not pose a risk to the environment, but can prove corrosive when in contact with some metals.

Click here to find more information about AdBlue on the VDA website.

What is AdBlue used for?

AdBlue is used within a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, fitted to vehicle exhaust systems. In the presence of a suitable catalyst within the exhaust system, it reduces harmful NOX emissions into harmless nitrogen and water vapour.

SCR technology was originally developed to reduce the impact of emissions from coal fired power stations. Today, SCR technology is incorporated in the exhaust systems of Diesel engined vehicles globally, including those fitted to many passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

How can I tell if my Diesel engined vehicle requires AdBlue?

Diesel engined vehicles with SCR systems can be sold under a variety of brands e.g. Blueinjection (Vauxhall), BlueHDI (Citroen, DS and Peugeot) and BlueTec (Mercedes-Benz).

However, irrespective of what the emissions control technology is called, all SCR equipped vehicles will have a tank set aside for the storage of AdBlue, separate from the main Diesel tank. This tank can usually be identified by a small blue filler cap. On some models, this filler cap is positioned beside the Diesel cap. On other models, the cap may be located in the boot area or under the bonnet.

AdBlue is not a fuel, a fuel treatment or a fuel additive. It should never be mixed with Diesel or any other fuel.

What happens if I run out of AdBlue?

Before you run out of AdBlue a warning light will be displayed within the instrument binnacle. Dependent upon model, a message may also appear in the Driver’s Information Centre informing you to refill your AdBlue Tank. If you ignore this message, once the tank is empty and the ignition switched off, the vehicle will not restart.

What is the lowest temperature AdBlue should be stored at?

AdBlue will freeze at -11o Celsius. However, AdBlue is not harmed by the freezing process. Once thawed, AdBlue will retain its concentration and quality.

What is the highest temperature AdBlue should be stored at?

AdBlue should not be stored at temperatures over 30o Celsius. Above this temperature and the quality of stored solution can be compromised, reducing its effectiveness. At temperatures greater than 60o Celsius, AdBlue will begin to decompose.

Do I need to specify a heating or cooling solution with my AdBlue Tank?

It’s unlikely AdBlue stored inside a tank installed in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man will be exposed to temperatures below -11o Celsius or above 60o Celsius for a prolonged period. Therefore, at most installations, it’s not necessary to install an AdBlue Tank with a Heating or Cooling system. However, to reduce the risk of exposure to high temperatures, it's always recommended to position an AdBlue Tank in the shade and away from direct sunlight.

The easiest way to determine definitively whether you require a tank with a Heating or Cooling system is to pose the question ‘What would happen if a vehicle couldn’t get immediate access to AdBlue?’. If the answer is 'a minor inconvenience' then you almost certainly don't require a Heating or Cooling system. On the other hand, if the answer is a risk to life or health, then you'll almost certainly wish to specify a Heating and Cooling system. 

What is ISO 22241?

ISO 22241 is the international standard for AdBlue. It covers all aspects of the AdBlue supply chain including quality requirements, test methods, handling, transportation, storage and replenishment.  

All AdBlue Tanks supplied by Fuel Tank Store are manufactured from materials approved for the storage and dispensing of AdBlue as per ISO 22241. Additionally, all wetted components fitted to AdBlue Tanks supplied by Fuel Tank Store are manufactured from ISO 22241 complaint materials.

What happens if I fail to store AdBlue correctly?

Most AdBlue Tanks service multiple vehicles. Therefore, failing to store and handle AdBlue responsibly can become a fleet wide issue. It can become an expensive issue too, with replacement costs upwards of £5,000 or €6,000 for an SCR system fitted to a modern vehicle. If it’s necessary to replace an SCR system due to the use of contaminated AdBlue, replacement will almost certainly not be covered under warranty.

How can I reduce the risk of AdBlue contamination?

Whilst the consequences of using contaminated AdBlue can prove expensive, fortunately contamination is easy to prevent:

  • Use only a dedicated, clearly marked and purpose designed tank or container for the storage of AdBlue;

  • Ensure all storage and handling equipment has been designed specifically for the storage of AdBlue, is ISO 22241 compliant;

  • Do not use AdBlue storage and dispensing equipment with any other product;

  • Order bulk AdBlue deliveries only from a responsible supplier and look for the AdBlue® trademark and references to the ISO 22241-1 and DIN 70070 standards;

  • When replenishing on a forecourt site or purchasing pre-packaged containers, barrels or IBCs, purchase only from an established business you know and trust;

  • When using pre-packaged AdBlue, always check the expiry date and do not use or store AdBlue beyond its stated shelf-life;

  • Do not reuse single use AdBlue containers.

Should all AdBlue Tanks be Bunded?

All static, bulk AdBlue Storage Tanks and Dispensers should be bunded. However, smaller capacity, portable, Single Skin AdBlue Tanks are acceptable for mobile dispensing applications.

What happens if I spill AdBlue?

If you spill small quantities of AdBlue® on to your vehicle’s paintwork, simply wipe off and rinse with clean water. AdBlue spilt on your clothes and / or skin should be rinsed off thoroughly with clean water.

What if I have a question or query which isn’t listed here?

You’re very welcome to call our Customer Support Team on 01789 632 151 in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, 01 5268 642 in the Republic of Ireland, or e-mail We’re open weekdays from 9am to 5pm - excluding Bank and Public Holidays.