HVO fuel is a renewable synthetic diesel that can help the UK achieve its 2050 net-zero target for greenhouse gas emissions. At Beesley Fuels, we supply HVO to a wide range of businesses including those in the transport, agriculture and power generation industries to provide a fast and simple solution to reduce their environmental impact. But how does HVO fuel reduce net greenhouse gas emissions? This and other common questions are answered below.
HVO, or hydrotreated vegetable oil, is a paraffinic, second-generation sustainable and renewable diesel fuel. It’s produced from completely renewable raw materials such as waste animal fats and vegetable oils. In addition, HVO is 100% hydrocarbon (0% oxygen) allowing it to be used and handled as a drop-in alternative to fossil diesel.
Its clean-burning properties cut particulate production, helping to prolong its lifetime in storage and improve engine cleanliness. The lack of fossil carbon within the product results in a 90% reduction in net CO2 emissions.
HVO fuel is produced through a highly controlled hydrotreatment process of renewable materials to form a high-quality paraffinic product that’s almost chemically identical to fossil diesel, but with several added benefits.
The production process removes impurities and the main factors that cause fuel degradation, increasing its shelf life to up to 10 years – provided safe storage and a well-maintained tank.
HVO fuel is a direct drop-in diesel alternative. It meets the EN15940 standard, ASTM D975 and conforms to the Fuel Quality Directive 2009/30/EC Annex II and has been approved by a large number of automotive manufacturers. With a large number of OEM approvals, it can be used in a wide range of modern diesel engines, off-road machinery and generators without voiding warranties.
Ease of use is a primary concern when considering any new fuel and to make the switch to HVO fuel, in most cases, you don’t need to modify existing engines, machinery, logistics channels and storage equipment, you can just fill up your tank on top of existing stocks.
HVO fuel is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its green and logistical benefits – particularly as it reduces net CO2 emissions by up to 90% and hugely reduces NOx, PM and CO emissions
As a first-generation biofuel, FAME diesel is more at risk from problems in cold weather, as well as cold filter plugging and water and biological attack – all of which lead to higher incidences of diesel contamination and tank corrosion. What’s more, it produces a significant amount of NOx and particulate emissions which are harmful to the environment and public health.
As governments try to tackle CO2 emissions, they are increasing the proportion of 1st generation biodiesel added to this fuel. This means that all of the problems highlighted above will become more prevalent and users of diesel fuel may experience issues. HVO fuel meets the governmental bio requirements without the need for FAME addition, therefore maintaining trouble-free operation for the user.
To help tackle the environmental and logistical problems associated with fossil fuels, paraffinic diesel fuels – like HVO – have been developed to overcome the hurdles of their first-generation counterparts.
HVO fuel is an environmentally friendly alternative to regular FAME diesel and biodiesel, but with up to a 10-year shelf life as opposed to around 1 year for diesel.
Though similar to regular diesel in terms of energy content, density, viscosity and flash point, HVO presents many benefits over white diesel, such as:
This all results in a greatly extended lifespan of up to 10 years compared to 1 for mineral diesel, easier maintenance for storing HVO and a clean-burning fuel which will help reduce your carbon footprint.
|Parameter||Units||Test Method||Specification||Typical Value|
|Appearance||–||ASTM D4176-2||Clear and bright||Clear and bright|
|Density||kg/l||EN ISO 12185||0.770 – 0.790||0.780|
|Viscosity||mm2/s||EN ISO 3104||2.0 – 4.0||2.8|
|Sulphur content||mg/kg||EN ISO 20884||5 maximum||<5|
|Flash point||ºC||EN ISO 2719||61 minimum||>70|
|Lubricity/SL BOCLE||g||ASTM D6078||>3500|
|Biogenic carbon by C14||% m/m||ASTM D6866 A&C/EN16640A||96% min||>96%|
|Polycyclic Aromatics (PAH)||% v/v||SS 155116||0.02 maximum||<0.02|
|Ash Content||% m/m||EN ISO 6245||0.001 maximum||<0.001|
|Initial Boiling Point||ºC||EN ISO 3405||180 minimum||>180|
|Recovered at 250ºC||% v/v||EN ISO 3405||<65||<20|
|Recovered at 350ºC||% v/v||EN ISO 3405||85 minimum||>98|
|95% recovered at||ºC||EN ISO 3405||360 maximum||>95|
|Cetane Number||–||EN 15195||70 minimum||80|
|Cetane Index||–||EN ISO 4264||70 minimum||80|
|CFPP||ºC||EN 116||Meets EN15940 Grade E|
|Carbon Residue (on 10% distillation residue)||% m/m||EN ISO 10370||0.1 maximum||<0.01|
|Oxidation Stability||g/m3||EN ISO 12205||25 maximum||<5|
|Copper Strip Corrosion 3hr/50oC||–||EN ISO 2160||1 maximum||1a|
|Net Heat of Combustion||MJ/kg||ASTM D4809||42 minimum||44|
|Particulate Matter||mg/kg||EN 12662||10 maximum||<1|
|Lubricity/HFRR||μm||EN ISO 12156-1||400 maximum||350|
|Renewable Diesel||% v/v||–||100||100|
|Fatty Acid Methyl Ester||% v/v||–||0||0|
|Total Aromatics||% m/m||EN 12916||1 maximum||<1|
HVO fuel offers vast savings on greenhouse gas potential of your operation with no changes needed to your engine or infrastructure.
HVO has a relatively high cetane number (greater than 70) than fossil diesel (around 51), which means that it’s an extremely efficient fuel. The cetane number refers to how well the fuel burns in the combustion chamber. So a higher cetane number means that the fuel will ignite faster, resulting in improved engine performance and reduced levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Many sailors currently use red diesel or white diesel in their vessel, however, both fuels can cause contamination and engine problems. Since FAME is present in fossil diesel, this accelerates the rate at which diesel bug grows which can block filters, wear injectors, corrode tanks and cause engine failure, especially in wet environments. HVO has none of these problems thanks to its highly controlled production process and has been approved by many marine manufacturers such as VolvoPenta.
HVO fuel is fully miscible with mineral diesel. This means you can mix the two fuels together and top up your current diesel stocks with HVO straight away. Please note, some of the benefits of HVO may be lost due to mineral diesel’s properties. Therefore, when feasible, we suggest you start your HVO journey with a clean tank to ensure its long lifespan and high-quality features.
Second-generation biofuels tackle the operational and performance problems of conventional diesel and earlier generation biofuels:
No, HVO fuel can be used in almost all diesel engines with little or no modification required, including:
HVO fuel is a premium fuel so its upfront cost is a little higher than mineral diesel, however, the long-term cost benefits far outweigh the initial outlay. The hydrotreatment production process removes all impurities from the fuel which significantly increases its lifespan in storage to around 10 years, considering good maintenance and storage. You will still need to regularly check your fuel; however, the risk of contamination and therefore costly fuel replacements is greatly reduced.
Previously, HVO fuel has been hard to obtain in bulk, however, Beesley Fuels have invested in an industrial-sized stock of the renewable fuel to help businesses in the UK reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to achieving the government’s 2050 target.
Beesley Fuels can supply HVO fuel directly to your site, in whatever quantity you require – from bulk 36,000 litres to single IBC supplies.
If you have any further questions about HVO fuel, the environmentally-friendly, fossil-free diesel alternative or would like to enquire about our HVO fuel delivery services. Give our HVO fuel experts a call today on 0330 123 1144 to learn more and start reducing your emissions today.
* Beesley Fuels HVO fuel complies with BS EN 15940 being the British Standard for paraffinic diesel fuel which is a new generation of cleaner transport fuel for use in road vehicles. If your vehicle is still within the manufacturer`s warranty or if you have taken out mechanical breakdown insurance, we recommend you check with the manufacturer or insurer that use of our product will not affect your cover. We cannot be held responsible for any issues with your vehicle connected to its age or pre-existing condition.
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