Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil
Hydrotreated vegetable oil or HVO is a fossil-free diesel fuel made by hydrogenation of used cooking oils, lipids, and fats into a synthetic fuel with properties like mineral diesel.
The expanding availability of HVO fuel in 2024 – it is a practical example of the circular economy in action – means it is good to look more into what hydrotreated vegetable oil is along with the oil majors that now produce it. These include Phillips 66, Valero, Eni, Chevron, Neste, Marathon Oil, and Total.
Also known as renewable diesel, hydrotreated vegetable oil is a synthetic alternative diesel fuel made from wastes and residues that are broken right down and then reacted with hydrogen to produce a chemically similar hydrocarbon to mineral diesel.
The molecule chain lengths in HVO are far more consistent than those in fossil diesel with high purity and a much cleaner burn with as much as 80% less particulates given off. This means a more reliable engine and fuel injection and means clogged fuel and DPF filters are unheard of.
A highly practical low emissions diesel fuel, HVO can be mixed with normal diesel in any proportion and used in almost any road vehicle, forklift, ride on mower, generator, boat, or plant. An immediate reduction in air pollution and green house gas emissions without any costly upgrades!
Owing to the absence of oxygen atoms, this fuel offers excellent stability in storge for long periods without growing the diesel bug. It also has a high cetane number and performs very well in winter conditions without clouding and with good flow characteristics.
As it is made from ISCC registered waste products it reduces net carbon emissions by as much as 90% and is a good example of the circular economy in action. There are at least 2 producers of hydrotreated vegetable oil in the UK (Phillips 66 and Port Fuels) as well as several others that import from major refiners like Neste OYJ or Valero, the latter supplies HVO branded as Diamond Green Diesel.
Millions of litres of renewable diesel are in stock in this country with several truck fleets like local authorities in their bin lorries use it all the time. What is not so easy is if you want some for your private car in small quantities, so we have sought to offer this in jerrycans or IBC’s and offer dispenser tanks varying from 210 to 38,000 litres.
As far as we are aware there are about 20 outlets offering this fuel at the pump in the UK at present, (with some truckstops you have to have a UK Fuels card) but given its performance and eco-friendly characteristics we expect this to increase. If you would like to discuss or have a Zoom meeting please call 01324 309100
We have included a useful video below from Chevron which gives some more explanation and context.