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Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO)

Since the industrial revolution, fuel has been key to driving change and innovation globally. Today that innovation is driving the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly fuels. At NWF Fuels we are supporting innovation and working closely with fuel producers to develop the next generation of fuels.


What are the main benefits of HVO?

– Reduced CO2 emissions
– Fully renewable
– Cleaner burn, reducing carbon build-up in boilers
– Minor modifications to your existing boiler


Will I need to change my boiler to use HVO?

Despite HVO being a replacement for Diesel, not Kerosene, your current boiler can be modified to burn HVO by installing different nozzles (regularly changed during services) and adjusting the burner. Some new boilers have the capability to burn HVO with no modifications. This makes HVO the ideal eco-friendly replacement for your heating.


HVO Fuel – What is it?

Often known as Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) or simply put, renewable diesel, HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils) are a synthetic diesel establishing itself in the market. This is because of the multitude of benefits that are associated with the emerging product. As a realistic option to produce diesel from biomass via esterification, hydroprocessing oils and fats is vastly better for the environment and engines than mineral diesel. This is an extremely attractive option for industrial experts and large organisations that have eco-targets to hit and are looking to make their companies as ‘green’ as possible.


What Does It Contain?

Both HEFA and HVO contain high cetane numbers and can be described as chain paraffinic hydrocarbons. These components are sulfur, aromatics and oxygen free and have some significant advantages over Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) which enable them to be used in aviation since the approval of bio jet but also in all diesel engines. Some of these benefits include improved cold flow properties, better storage durability and decreased NOx emission.


How Is It Produced?

Biofuel types such as HVO are versatile enough to be produced in different ways. Firstly they can be produced in straight forward, stand alone facilities. Alternatively production can occur by enabling pure HVO technology premises or co-production facilities by converting existing establishments such oil refineries. Today, the fossil fuel source hydrogen is the key additional feedstock for HVO as the other feedstock necessities to produce hydrocarbon drop-in products are mostly residue and waste materials of low quality despite their broad range.


How is HVO Commonly Used?

HVO fuel is ideally suited to a vast range of industries as a viable alternative to diesel. These include construction, rail, events and public transport. It’s used commonly in generators that are portable and used for festivals such as Glastonbury, boilers in a commercial setting, tractors and machinery in an agricultural setting and for construction equipment and machinery also. Boats and vessels that are used in waterways located in land have introduced HVO use as have many industrial trucks and tankers in recent times.


Can My Vehicle Run On HVO Fuel?

Significant numbers of high-standing OEMs have approved HVO fuel since its compliance with EN15940 for paraffinic fuels was widely recognised. It was a clear declaration of authenticity and meant that as they could now be used in diesel engines, to use HVO manufacturers wouldn’t need to make specification alterations or void any warranties.

Heavy-duty road vehicles using HVO include; DAF, Scania, Volvo, MAN, Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Iveco. Some of the top branded passenger cars have also followed suit and the list of names reads; Peugeot, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz, DS Automobiles, Renault and Volvo. In addition to these, non-road vehicle providers like John Deere, Caterpillar, Scania, Agco and Steyr are also widely using HVO across their reputable motors.



HVO Frequently Asked Questions


What is FAME?

FAME diesel is a first-generation biofuel. It produces harmful emissions and significant amounts of NOx which are not good for either public health or the environment. This particular type of diesel is prone to cold weather issues and can develop water and biological attacks such as cold filter plugging much faster than other diesels.


What is paraffinic diesel?

A paraffinic diesel has zero sulphur content and low levels of naphthenic and aromatic hydrocarbons. These extremely pure fuels are high quality liquid fuels that are synthesised and clean. HVO is a recognised paraffinic diesel fuel.


Are paraffinic diesel fuels such as HVO fuel better than traditional fuels?

HVO fuel is significantly better for the environment compared to mineral diesel and is therefore key in helping the UK achieve its net-zero carbon target. Companies across all industries and sectors are now under huge pressure to meet the criteria for climate change and both the private and public sectors have identified fuel as a key area. The focus on renewal energy, green initiatives and sustainable operations with eco-friendly suppliers and products is going to continually grow and using HVO fuels will no doubt be a major factor in environmental impact for years to come.


Can HVO be used in boats?

HVO has a regulated manufacturing process with intensely controlled production processes which has seen the approval for boat use commissioned by marine experts such as VolvoPenta. HVO doesn’t have the traditional problems that sailors encounter with red and white diesel commonly used in boats and it will not lead to engine problems and contamination like fossil Diesel can. In wet environments, the presence of FAME can advance the corrosion of tanks, block filters, wear injectors down and even trigger engine failure. So HVO not bringing these flaws into operation is a huge advantage for sailors and marine manufacturers.


Can I mix HVO fuel and diesel?

You can mix HVO fuel and diesel but proceed with caution. You will receive more efficient performance and gain full benefits of HVO if you use it exclusively and this is usually the recommended method. Although mixing the two substances by adding HVO to your current diesel stocks will still see the engine run smoothly, due to the FAME content in the existing diesel, it could limit it’s extended shelf life.


What length of time can HVO fuel be stored for?

The fact that HVO can be stored for up to a decade in comparison to diesel having to have increased testing and only being able to be stored for a single year can be directly linked to the shift many organisations are making from traditional diesel to HVO. It is an attractive prospect because of the lack of impurities in HVO fuel which creates the longer shelf life of the product. The lack of FAME or sulphur in HVO significantly enhances its longevity.


Does HVO reduce emissions?

HVO is proven to lower three key components of emission pollution when used in vehicles. These are PM emissions (-84%), CO2 emissions (-90%) and NOx emissions (-27%) so HVO makes your equipment and engines much more efficient and eco-friendly. The extremely pure fuel is a result of a high-quality hydrotreatment process which sees HVO manufactured from vegetable oils amongst other renewable materials.


If you have any questions, please give us a call on 01829 260900 or email us.

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