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Diesel shortage-01

To stop supply chain woes, just AdBlue

  • Global shortage of key ingredient urea could force Aussie trucks off the road.
  • Supply shortfall from China means less heavy vehicles able to transport deliveries.
  • Concerns mount as to where Australia can source key AdBlue ingredient urea.

Don’t look up, but your Christmas presents may not be delivered until 2022.

Australia’s supply chain crisis is poised to worsen with Christmas around the corner, as a major shortage of a key ingredient used in diesel exhaust fluid, known as AdBlue, could force truckies off the road.

Globally, there is a major shortage of a crucial ingredient in AdBlue, urea, which helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – a mandatory requirement of many diesel vehicles, including commercial and private vehicles.

Urea is also an organic compound predominantly used in fertiliser for agriculture, but supply is down as China, which is a major global supplier of the essential item, has run dry.

Worsening the situation, South Korea, which last month sent a military oil tanker to Australia to collect tens of thousands of litres of urea, has banned exports of the compound and rationed diesel exhaust fluid purchases.

While the country’s transport sector in general remains in turmoil, with a train strike in Sydney and the reopening of the Queensland border, supply chain concerns are being heightened by the absence of AdBlue.

Essentially, if a business uses large diesel engines or modern heavy goods above 7.5 tonnes, AdBlue must be added to vehicle exhausts to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are released.

According to BASF, the German multinational chemical company which makes the product, AdBlue is a high purity, 32.5% urea solution directly injected into the exhaust gas which reduces harmful gases being released into the atmosphere.

The released ammonia reacts with the nitric oxides on the catalyst to form elementary nitrogen and water – both are natural constituents of the air that we all breathe.

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