DEF sales projected to explode in coming years

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Bluedef LogoLong-time antifreeze maker and distributor Peak (an Old World Industries subsidiary) dove head first into the quickly developing diesel exhaust fluid industry — the key to the selective catalytic reduction exhaust aftertreatment technology used by all major North American manufacturers to meet EPA emissions standards — about 30 months ago, and estimates show they’ll move somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-120 million gallons of the fluid this year alone.

And by next year, that number will grow to the size of Peak’s antifreeze market, says Frank Cook, senior vice president for Peak and its BlueDEF brand, who likened the company’s undertaking of creating the urea-based diesel exhaust fluid to the Oklahoma land rush of the 19th century: Many others who saw potential in the market were waiting on the starting line when the signal was given to go, but, Cook says, not everyone had what it takes to not only make DEF but distribute the product nationwide.

The distribution model is in place, as is the product. The only thing holding Peak back is demand, and that won’t be too far behind as older, non-SCR-based equipment continues to move through the system.

By 2020, Peak says, the DEF market will move as many gallons per year as the engine oil market does, and once all equipment has been switched to SCR, the market size of DEF each year will be between 1.2 and 1.8 billion gallons a year, Cook says, adding that Peak’s BlueDEF registers the proper purity and quality to meet standards set in Europe and the United States.

So far, Cook says, “It’s been an exciting, wild ride, but we’re just getting started.”


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