How Prema HVO overcomes biodiesel’s sustainability setbacks

June 2021

Discover Prema HVO – Low Carbon Diesel

Biodiesel has a tarnished reputation when it comes to environmental and ethical sustainability, often with good reason. Discover why our next-gen HVO is something else entirely.


This guide outlines:

  • The common sustainability concerns associated with biodiesel
  • Why Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a completely different fuel
  • How Prema HVO guarantees the highest level of environmental sustainability

Companies of all sizes and sectors are under rising pressure to reduce their environmental impact. Prema HVO is a cleaner, greener alternative to conventional diesel that can play a key role in delivering this goal.

But isn’t HVO ‘biodiesel’ that causes deforestation and other sustainability problems?

We get this question a lot.

HVO and biodiesel are actually two different things. All Prema HVO is deforestation-free and certified to internationally recognised sustainability standards.


#1 First things first, the problems with biodiesel

Red diesel is a category of diesel which currently receives a substantial duty cut.

The environmental issues associated with conventional fossil diesel require no introduction. It releases greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to global warming. It causes air pollution in our towns and cities, and also releases particulate emissions that are harmful to human health.

Biodiesel was developed to tackle some of these issues. Manufactured primarily from vegetable oils, it does an adequate job of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is because growing the feedstock naturally absorbs carbon from the atmosphere in the process, offsetting the emissions from the tailpipe. It is also 100% renewable.

But ‘first-generation’ biodiesel (also known as FAME) has created other problems. Growing the feedstock requires large amounts of land, leading to deforestation to make room for environmentally damaging palm plantations. More land for biofuel also means less land for food, increasing food costs in some of the poorest parts of the world.


#2 Do these problems still exist?

The sustainability of first-gen biodiesel has improved in recent years. In the UK, it must now be sourced from a 100% waste feedstock like used cooking oil to be classified as renewable. This theoretically means no deforestation.

But unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Research shows that the FAME blended into conventional ‘B7’ diesel at the pump today actually contains a mixture of both used cooking oil and direct oil derived products such as palm oil.

Meanwhile, the 7% FAME blend at the pump still means significant greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter from the tailpipe.


#3 What about HVO?

Enter the next generation: Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). HVO is not biodiesel. It is 100% used cooking oil that is put through a much more complex refining process , producing a superior, cleaner fuel that is 100% interchangeable with conventional diesel.

Depending on the application, using HVO can translate into up to 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions from well-to-tank, as well as fewer particulate emissions from the tailpipe.


#3 Prema HVO takes things one step further

But it doesn’t stop there. To ensure the highest proof of sustainability, Prema HVO has full International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) – an independent, globally recognised sustainability body.

ISCC proof of sustainability means we have full traceability of each and every import, confirming where it was manufactured, the raw material origin and type, the supplier, and even a breakdown of the greenhouse gases emitted during production and transportation.

It means we can categorically guarantee that our HVO is deforestation-free. No vegetable oil, palm oil or otherwise, was grown directly for the purpose of Prema HVO. You can be safe in the knowledge that there are no compromises on environmental and ethical sustainability.

We believe this is the right thing to do, and does the right thing by you, too.

Want to Learn More about Prema HVO?

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If you would like assistance with managing this transition, learning more about specialist heating fuels or ultra-low carbon fuels, don’t hesitate to get in touch here.

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