What Is HVO Fuel?
Car owners and businesses working on a carbon reduction plan are asking what is HVO fuel? It is a green replacement diesel; find out more about hydrotreated vegetable oil or renewable diesel here.
Part of a group of synthetic fuels produced from waste like used cooking oils, tallow, pitch, fish waste, and animal fats, HVO fuel is made by cracking and hydrogenating with hydrogen to produce a paraffinic kerosene-like fuel with low odour and very little sulphur content.
We believe the Finnish oil firm Neste has been the main manufacturer of hydrotreated vegetable oil which is also called renewable diesel in recent years and the market is now expanding with majors like Phillips 66, Valero, and Eni also ramping up production.
HVO is chemically very similar to fossil diesel and typically has lubricity additives added to make up for missing sulphur, it is a pale straw colour with a high cetane number of 70. The quality standard is EN 15940 and directive 2009/30/EC Annex II.
Air Pollution Down, Smooth Acceleration Up
Because the molecule lengths in HVO are consistent in this fuel it burns very cleanly, reducing diesel particulates and soot by 80% – no more blocked DPFs or fuel filters!
Particularly in manual gearbox smaller cars and vans you can feel notably smoother and more eager power when running on HVO.
Is HVO A Biodiesel?
Yes, it is but it absolutely is not a B100 or FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) product and suffers from none of the very painful shortcomings of these products.
Consistent, high purity, and very stable, HVO fuel can be used in temperatures as low as minus 20 and, because there is no oxygen within the fuel, it will not grow algae in storage. You can store HVO fuel for as long as 10 years and it has excellent cold weather performance.
Can You Mix HVO And Normal Diesel?
Yes, you can, and this makes it very practical as bulk fuelling infrastructure or vehicles need no changing and as it is made from waste, the net carbon reduction is as high as 90%.
What Is Availability Like?
Just a handful of forecourts currently sell HVO fuel; we deliver all over the country in jerrycans, IBCs, pallets, or bulk drops of 500 to 36,000 litres or more.
To be clear, there are millions of litres of HVO stocked and made in the UK and dozens of truck fleets have used it for years it has been approved by almost all major engine firms like Volvo, mtu, CAT, Cummins, DAF, Audi and Scania to name just a few. A video at the bottom of the page shows how cleanly HVO burns.
I hope we have clarified a few points about what HVO fuel is in this article. Some further points of interest to note are that:
- Engines using it heat from cold quickly making it good for standby generators and winter use.
- Fuel economy drops a little compared with using white mineral diesel.
- HVO is low density and light weight, about 25% lighter than water per litre.
- HVO does have some odour but significantly less aromatics than mineral fossil diesel.