What is HVO Fuel?

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a form of renewable diesel fuel derived from vegetable oils or animal fats. Unlike traditional biodiesel, HVO undergoes a hydrotreatment process, resulting in a cleaner, high-quality fuel. This process involves hydrogenation, where hydrogen is used to remove oxygen from the oil, effectively breaking it down into smaller hydrocarbon chains. This method is what differentiates HVO from other biofuels and contributes to its unique properties.

HVO fuel is a FAME – free and fossil – free environmentally-friendly alternative to mineral diesel with a wide range of OEM approvals for use in modern vehicles, generators, construction machinery and industrial power systems.

HVO fuel is a part of the paraffinic family of fuels. Paraffinic diesel is a high-quality and clean liquid fuel with zero Sulphur or aromatic content.

It’s synthetically made through the hydrotreatment process from vegetable oils or animal fats which allows it to significantly reduce harmful emissions when used in diesel vehicles and machinery.

Why Choose HVO Fuel?

Reduced Environmental Impact: HVO fuel significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional diesel. It’s a sustainable choice, helping to combat climate change.

High Quality and Performance: HVO offers excellent cold weather performance and doesn’t have the same storage stability issues as other biodiesels. It’s known for a high cetane number, which means better combustion efficiency and a smoother running engine.

Versatility and Compatibility: HVO can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. This plug-and-play aspect makes it an attractive option for fleets looking to reduce their carbon footprint without investing in new vehicles or infrastructure.

Low Emission of Pollutants: HVO burns cleaner, reducing emissions of particulate matter, NOx, and other pollutants that contribute to air quality problems.

Renewable and Sustainable: Made from renewable resources, HVO supports the shift away from fossil fuels. It’s often produced from waste and residue streams, contributing to a circular economy.

Reduced Maintenance Needs: The cleaner combustion of HVO can lead to reduced engine wear and tear, potentially lowering maintenance costs over time.

What are the benefits of HVO?

Environmental Benefits: HVO’s most significant advantage is its reduced environmental footprint. By using renewable resources and emitting fewer pollutants, it contributes to cleaner air and a healthier planet.

Operational Advantages: HVO’s compatibility with existing diesel engines and infrastructure makes it an easy switch for many businesses. It also performs reliably in various climatic conditions, ensuring operational consistency.

Economic Impacts: While the upfront cost might be higher than traditional diesel, the potential long-term savings in maintenance, along with the benefits of aligning with green initiatives and potential government incentives, can make HVO an economically viable option.

Energy Security: By diversifying fuel sources and relying more on locally sourced renewable resources, HVO can contribute to greater energy independence and security.

Social Responsibility: Using HVO can enhance a company’s corporate social responsibility profile, as it demonstrates a commitment to sustainable practices and reducing environmental impact.

What are the applications of HVO in Power Generation? 

HVO can be used in diesel generators for electricity production, especially in remote or off-grid locations. It’s also a cleaner alternative for backup power systems.

Diesel Generators:

Remote or Off-Grid Power Generation: HVO is particularly valuable for generating electricity in remote areas or for off-grid applications where renewable energy sources like solar or wind are not feasible or reliable enough.

Backup Power Systems: For critical facilities like hospitals, data centers, and emergency services, HVO can be used in diesel generators to provide a more environmentally friendly backup power solution.

On-Site Power for Industrial and Commercial Use:

Businesses that require on-site power generation for manufacturing processes, data centers, or other operations can use HVO to reduce their carbon footprint.

In industries where emissions regulations are strict, switching to HVO can help in compliance while ensuring a reliable power supply.

Temporary Power Solutions:

For events, construction sites, or temporary installations where temporary power is needed, HVO can be an excellent choice to reduce emissions without compromising on efficiency.

Co-generation/Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems:

In CHP systems, where both electricity and heat are produced, using HVO can enhance the system’s overall sustainability. This is especially relevant in industrial settings or for district heating systems.

Peak Load Power Plants:

HVO can be used in peak load power plants which operate during times of high electricity demand. These plants, often running on diesel engines, can switch to HVO for a cleaner operation.

Microgrids and Hybrid Systems:

In microgrids or hybrid power systems that combine renewable sources like solar or wind with diesel generators, HVO can be used to reduce the environmental impact during periods when renewable sources are insufficient.

Research and Development in Power Generation:

HVO is also being explored in research settings for its potential in more efficient and cleaner combustion processes in power generation.

Why do we need to go green?

In 2019, recognising that air pollution is one of the biggest ongoing threats to public health in the UK, the government launched an ambitious new strategy to clean up the air and save lives.

Red diesel accounts for around 15% of all the diesel used in the UK and is responsible for the production of nearly 14 million tons of CO2 a year. Red diesel used in the construction and infrastructure building sectors was also estimated to have caused 7% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and 8% of PM10 emissions (a type of particulate matter) in London in 2018. The use of HVO in power generation presents a viable path towards cleaner energy production, especially in scenarios where renewable energy sources are not yet fully applicable or available. Its compatibility with existing diesel engines and infrastructure makes it an attractive transitional fuel towards a more sustainable future in power generation. As the availability and production of HVO increase, its role in providing cleaner, more sustainable power is expected to expand significantly.

HVO fuel emerges as a promising alternative to traditional diesel, offering a blend of environmental and operational benefits. As the world increasingly seeks sustainable solutions, HVO stands out as a clean, efficient, and practical choice for a wide range of applications.

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