What Is Renewable Diesel?

Renewable diesel is a biofuel that is made from wastes and residues like cooking oils, animal fats, wood waste, or fish waste that is then hydrogenated under high pressure. You can download a renewable diesel factsheet for free on which this reflects concerns customers have expressed in a simple format. 

As it is made from waste products this type of diesel earns the title ‘renewable’ although this can also help to distinguish it from FAME biodiesel, to which it is markedly superior due to much better storage stability and miscibility with standard fossil diesel.

What Is Renewable Diesel

Other names for this paraffinic fuel include HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) XTL diesel, or green diesel, it exhibits certain useful characteristics and has some drawbacks:

  • Available quite easily in bulk in the UK, renewable diesel is rare at filling stations in this country and thus not currently very easy to source – although we can help with supply of HVO.
  • At present, it tends to be more expensive than fossil diesel and offers slightly lower fuel economy.
  • Due to being synthetic it is far more consistent and 80% cleaner burning with a huge cut in diesel particulates, smoke, and smell meaning it is perfect for taxis, courier vans, plant, generators etc.
  • It is a straightforward swap to simply fill a vehicle, boat, or generator with HVO renewable diesel without any changes and even mix it with normal mineral diesel.
  • This diesel fuel has a high cetane number of around 70 for better combustion and offers a net green house gas emissions cut as high as 90% and around 20% less nitrous oxides in the exhaust plume (lowering useage of AdBlue).
  • This kind of XTL diesel performs excellently in cold weather without clouding or growing diesel bug in the storage tank and can be stored for up to 10 years.

What is renewable diesel?

This remarkable synthetic fuel is now made at UK refineries as well as Italy, France, Holland, Finland, USA, and Singapore. Hard on the heels of HVO diesel you are likely to hear more about SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) which is synthetic kerosene starting to be used by airliners and air forces.

Please feel free to get in touch for honest advice about this fuel on 01324 309100 or email oil@lubiq.uk. HVO is not for everyone but it is a joy to drive with and is better for both engines and the planet. It is an eminently practical solution to decarbonizing your diesel fleet without changing vehicles.

A leading producer of this fuel is Neste, we have included a process step-by-step video showing the circular economy and manufacturing process below; in case you are still wondering what renewable diesel fuel is.