HVO Fuel: We Answer the Most Frequently Asked Questions about the FAME-Free Green Fuel

Tue, May 9, 2023

HVO is leading the way as a new renewable diesel alternative on the UK market, as it is greener and can reduce emissions. But how can using the renewable fuel benefit your business? We are here to help explain your most commonly asked questions about HVO.

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

What is HVO fuel?

HVO fuel is a high-quality paraffinic fuel, designed to eliminate up to 90% of greenhouse gases by reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Reducing emissions is essential in reaching the goal of becoming NET zero, which is the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas that is produced, and the amount that is removed from the atmosphere. Being 100% bio and 100% hydrocarbon, hydrotreated vegetable oil meets EN 15940 regulatory standards and Fuel Quality Directive 2009/30/EC Annex II and has a wide range of OEM approvals.

Similar in density, viscosity, and energy content, HVO can be used as a drop-in alternative to diesel, with no need to modify existing infrastructure or engines. All CTS and Piusi products have been thoroughly tested and can be used as HVO fuel equipment without any issue. As a result, HVO is considered a cheaper and quicker solution to switch to compared to other diesel alternatives such as electric vehicles.

How is HVO fuel made?

HVO fuel is hydrogenated vegetable oil, produced by taking waste fats, vegetable oils and animal fats that and treating them through a highly specialist hydrotreatment process at high temperatures and pressures.

Is HVO fuel sustainable?

HVO fuel is created from renewable waste resources, and it is 100% biodegradable. Containing none of the harmful components of fossil fuels and crude oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%, it is considered a green alternative to traditional diesel.

NET zero goal

Is HVO fuel road legal?

HVO is a completely compliant fuel that can be legally used to power on and off-road machinery and vehicles without any impact on the engine or equipment. The fuel is fully miscible with diesel, which means you can mix the two fuels together and top up your current diesel stocks with HVO straight away without any delays. That being said, by doing so, it will reduce the extended shelf life of HVO due to diesel’s FAME content.

Is HVO fuel biodiesel?

HVO is often mistaken for a biodiesel, but it is in fact a fully renewable diesel, rather than a first-generation biofuel. The key difference is that HVO is FAME-free. When Fatty Acid Methyl Esters are present in fuel, it becomes hygroscopic, which means it attracts and holds onto water which is where bacteria grows and a nasty sludge forms. This sludge then goes on to block filters, damage engines and equipment. Unlike biodiesel, HVO is not at risk of this.

What are the benefits of HVO fuel?

HVO is a second-generation biofuel

The biggest benefit of HVO as a diesel alternative is of course its environmental impact; it reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 90% and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 30%.The beauty is that there are no costly infrastructure changes for the end user when switching to HVO, as it is simply a drop in replacement and all diesel equipment can be used as HVO fuel equipment.

An additional benefit to using this renewable fuel is that it has zero FAME, which means it resists the attack of water contamination. By not absorbing moisture is does not form the nasty sludge present in biodiesel that blocks filters and damage equipment

It ignites faster due to a higher cetane number, giving improved engine performance and reduced emissions.

It has an extended storage life and can be stored for up to 10 years without degrading, as well as a low cloud point of -32°C, which means less chance of waxing in extremely cold weather. This provides better engine starting performance and clean combustion.

Is HVO more efficient than diesel?

HVO fuel offers better combustion than fossil diesel due to its much higher cetane number. Most diesel engines require fuel with a cetane number ranging from 45 to 55 and diesel has a cetane number of around 42 – 50. HVO has a cetane number of up to 90, which results in faster ignition and improved engine performance than diesel.

At CTS, we have carried out extensive testing of all our own product range, including our tank alarms and probes, and can ensure our customers that all our equipment, as well as all Piusi products for diesel, are suitable for use with HVO as "drop-in" replacements for diesel.

So there you have it, the most frequently asked questions about HVO answered!

Ready to make the change to HVO?

All our refuelling equipment is suitable for use with HVO fuel