AdBlue: Cut out the Middle Man?

Our AdBlue warning light came on again today, which prompted a thought… If Adblue really is just pig-piss, would man-piss work just as well?

Mark sits down at around 9pm each evening to begin the time-consuming task of filtering a litre of Stella Artois from our motorhome’s “beer locker” (the pull-out drawer in the bottom of the fridge) through his liver and into our Thetford toilet cassette.

At regular intervals, I then empty said cassette at a suitable motorhome service point. If I could get Mark to deposit his processed Stella straight into the AdBlue tank instead, that would kill two birds with one stone – no need to keep buying AdBlue, and no need to empty the loo quite as often. Just a thought….

For those who haven’t come across AdBlue, it’s a liquid used in many modern diesel vehicles to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. The AdBlue goes in a separate tank; we have to chuck 10 litres of AdBlue into ours every 2500 miles or so. It’s apparently 32.5% urea and 67.5% water. The motorhome forums I’ve read are united in the view that the urea in AdBlue comes from sheep and pigs (who are presumably carefully trained to pee in a large blue AdBlue-branded bucket? 🤔).

The AdBlue cleans up emissions using a fancy-sounding process called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). Basically, it gets injected into the exhaust system where it reacts in the high temperatures there to produce ammonia, which in turn breaks down around 80% of the nasty nitrogen oxide in the exhaust gases into nitrogen and water. Wonderful 😍

Getting back to my cunning plan, I’ve done a bit of research online and it’s not good news I’m afraid….

Apparently human urine contains only 2-4% urea, plus a load of other stuff, and there will be a sensor in the tank that will stop the van running if you put the wrong stuff in there. Spoilsports! 🤡

I think the best information I found came from Commercial Fuel Solutions (www.commercialfuelsolutions.co.uk). Here’s what they have to say:

Is AdBlue Pig Urine?

Just to confirm, AdBlue is not animal urine, we’ve heard them all over the years, cow urine, pig urine, the craziest one was fish urine (we’re still not sure exactly how you would harvest that).

AdBlue is actually a high purity chemically produced carbamide solution dissolved in a high purity de-ionised water.

Anything other than a high purity solution will cause the porous head of the SCR to fail just like limescale would in a kettle. Putting urine from any species into your machine’s AdBlue tank would cause irreversible damage to the SCR.

We’re not sure what pigs’ urine looks like once it dries out but we expect it doesn’t resemble anything like the white chalky residue which AdBlue leaves behind when it dries out, which incidentally is the part your SCR uses.

We hope information helps clarify the matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any more information.

They sound like a company well and truly at the end of their pig urine tether! Good for them I say – I like a web page that a) tells it like it is and b) is funny at the same time.

That does kind of scupper today’s cunning plan though….. Looking on the bright side, next time some old bore confidently tells you or I that AdBlue is just sheep- and pig-piss, we can smile at them sweetly in the certain knowledge that they are talking straight out of their man-bottom….

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