Innovation and Technology


The German automotive industry has always kept ahead of the European Union’s
exhaust emission legislation with the pace of its technological development. The Euro VI exhaust emission standard will come into force for cars in 2014.


Information about VDA-trademark AdBlue®

The requirements for reduction of car emissions are increasing on a worldwide scale. SCR-systems (SCR=selective catalytic reduction) are used in combination with the chemical synthetic product urea AUS 32 (AdBlue®) and thus lead to a reduction of NOx-emissions. In order to achieve a worldwide coverage of the product urea AUS 32 the VDA has registered the trademark "AdBlue" in all relevant car markets. By using the SCR-technology the automotive industry can contribute worldwide to further reductions of emissions.

1. AdBlue® - a worldwide trademark of VDA

Currently, AdBlue is a 32.5% solution of urea in deionised water and is required by many diesel vehicles operating on Europe's roads. AdBlue is essential for the correct operation of an advanced pollution control technology installed in the exhaust system called Selective Catalytic Reduction or SCR. Unlike diesel, AdBlue is a clear, non-toxic liquid that is safe to handle and does not damage the environment. AdBlue is not a fuel or fuel additive.

The quality of AdBlue® (urea AUS 32) is important for its use in vehicles, which is therefore regulated in the ISO standards 22241-1 to 4. These standards have to be observed by all licensees of the VDA. Those manufacturers of urea, which are interested in a license from VDA, have to undergo a quality audit performed by VDA-QMC at their production site at regarding the distribution system(see infoflyer on this website).

AdBlue® is a registered trademark of the VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie) and is licensed especially to car manufacturers, suppliers, and companies of the chemical and mineral oil industry. The trademark AdBlue® is applicable to vehicles, car-parts, in car-manuals, and for urea AUS 32.

VDA offers further information on its website under the theme "AdBlue" with an actual list of licensees and the AdBlue-newsletter.

Further information especially about licensing conditions can be obtained from the VDA-legal department (Jörg Monecke, e-mail:, Tel. +49 170 383 36 96)..

2. Technical importance of AdBlue®

AdBlue ® is used in modern SCR-systems, which are an emissions control technology first employed on coal-fired power stations to clean oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from the exhaust gasses. An SCR system uses AdBlue and a vanadium or base metal catalyst mounted in the vehicle's muffler to reduce NOx to water vapour and atmospheric nitrogen. This reaction takes place downstream of the engine in the exhaust system and is known as "after-treatment".

AdBlue® is manufactured by a solution of a chemical called urea (also called carbamide) in water. Urea is a synthetic product which usually is made from natural gas, and is used for commercial purposes like fertilizer, plastics and cosmetics. AdBlue® is not made from re-used agricultural products.

It is important, therefore, that there is always a sufficient amount of AdBlue® in the tank of a vehicle. If a car using a SCR-system is being operated without AdBlue®, there is a risk for the SCR-equipment to suffer damages and to cease to comply with the legal requirements for exhaust emissions.

3. Storage and handling of AdBlue® in extreme conditions

AdBlue® may be used within Europe under all regular weather conditions. It is however essential that the purity of AdBlue is ensured throughout the supply chain and when stored at a home depot. To some extent AdBlue is sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. The solution will freeze if its temperature falls below -11°C, and the urea content can decrease if stored at temperatures in excess of 30°C. However, AdBlue is not harmed by the freezing process and once thawed will retain its concentration and quality. In areas where the temperature is frequently in excess of 30°C it is necessary to ensure that the solution is not stored in direct sunlight.

The trucks themselves, and larger equipment installations, are built with several heated components to minimise the problem of frozen AdBlue.

4. Worldwide availability of AdBlue®

VDA and its licensees intend to arrive at a worldwide availability of AdBlue® (urea AUS 32). Therefore, the trademark AdBlue® is registered or applied for in all relevant car markets of the world. The VDA thus enables its licensees to market their products and services related to the trademark AdBlue®.

Dr. Ralf Scheibach
Dr. Ralf Scheibach Head of Department Law and Financial Services

Tel: +49 30 897842-260 Fax: +49 30 897842-600
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