What Is HVO

Author: Will Goldsmith
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Businesses in various industries have made the decision to switch to using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuels due to their many benefits. This blog discusses the advantages and disadvantages of HVO fuel, where to purchase it, and other relevant information.

What is HVO fuel?

HVO, short for hydrotreated vegetable oil, is a biofuel derived from animal, plant or algae remains. Unlike traditional liquid fuels like fossil petroleum, natural gas and coal, biofuels like HVO are considered to be renewable energy sources. This is because the materials used for creating HVO diesel can be quickly and easily replenished.

HVO is a paraffinic bio-based liquid fuel created by either hydrogenation or hydrocracking of vegetable oil. Hydrocracking is the process of breaking down larger molecules through the use of hydrogen. Hydrogenation, on the other hand, is the process of adding hydrogen to vegetable oil molecules.

By using either of these methods, substitutes for gasoline, fossil fuel, diesel, and other non-renewable fuels can be created. Because the materials used for the creation of HVO can be easily replenished, these fuels are often referred to as green or renewable diesel.

It’s worth noting that diesel fuel made from hydrotreatment is different from biodiesel, which is created through the esterification process.

Contrary to what the name suggests, HVO is no longer exclusively made from vegetable oils. This name originated from the last decade when the only feedstock available to produce HVO was types of vegetable oils. Now, HVO can be made from a much wider range of materials, including residual animal fat from the food industries, tall oil by-products, used cooking oil, and more.

Here at HVO Fuel UK, we exclusively use HVO made from waste materials, which means our HVO is the most sustainable option. Not only that, but our waste-derived HVO also produces the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions when considered alongside the alternatives.

Where to buy HVO fuel in the UK

HVO fuel is increasingly being used in the UK as a source of green energy. The world faces a host of issues caused by climate change; and businesses are subject to emission control regulations to help limit the problems. HVO fuel offers a viable solution to these issues, offering up to 90% carbon savings compared to regular diesel. Using HVO makes it easier for diesel-using industries to follow government regulations on emission control.

What Is HVO

Advantages and disadvantages of HVO fuel

Below, we’ll discuss the various advantages and disadvantages of using HVO fuel.


1. Environmentally friendly

Since HVO fuels are created from vegetable oils and other easily replenishable materials, the strain on the environment is much less than when other fuel types are produced. Additionally, the use of hydrogen as the catalyst for the reaction, as opposed to methanol, makes HVO fuel cleaner when used. The emissions of harmful substances like CO2 are also lower when HVO fuels are burned than those from other fuel types.

2. Longer shelf life

As well as being cleaner to use, another advantage of using hydrogen as a catalyst in the production process is that the resulting fuel has a far longer shelf life than regular biodiesel.

3. Can be used without changing your infrastructure

HVO fuel is considered as a drop-in fuel, which means you don’t have to change your existing infrastructure or equipment if you decide to make the change to HVO fuel.

1. More costly to use

Switching to HVO fuel can involve higher operating expenditure than regular diesel. With that said, it does nonetheless offer lower upfront capital expenditure when compared to other renewable fuels. This is because HVO is a suitable drop-in replacement to traditional diesel, and you won’t have to update your existing equipment to accommodate it. This is highly beneficial because updating your existing infrastructure to accommodate a new fuel type can be more costly than the fuel price increase itself.

2. Limited places to purchase

There is limited availability for the supply of HVO fuel in UK at present, as the country’s supply chain is not yet sufficiently developed. However, if you are interested in making the switch, you can find a range of companies that are currently selling HVO fuel.

If you are looking for a supplier in the UK, we can help here at HVO Fuel UK. We will listen to your specific requirements and guarantee we can offer you a competitive HVO price. In addition to HVO fuel, we also offer other liquid fuels, including low carbon heating oil.

If you’d like to find out more about buying HVO fuel from us, get a quote, or talk about the other products we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone on 0114 400 0186. You can also write to us by email at [email protected].

What Is HVO


What is HVO used for?

HVO is a term used to describe renewable diesel fuels which are created through hydrogenation and hydrocracking of different feedstocks such as rapeseed oil, tall oil, animal fats, and waste cooking oil. HVOs may also be described as Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA). In general, the fuel produced has similar chemical properties to fossil diesel.

Is renewable diesel better?

Because of the purity of the production process, renewable diesel is better for the environment than other fuel options. This purer form of fuel performs better and offers a much lower CO2 footprint and exhaust emissions than petroleum diesel or other fuels, for that matter.

Is HVO toxic?

No, HVO diesel is not toxic. The fuel is also totally odourless and is biodegradable because it is made from 100 per cent renewable waste materials. It has been scientifically tried and tested as an alternative to fossil fuels, so you can rest assured that it is very safe and clean to use.

How is HVO produced?

HVO biofuels are being produced either by converting current oil refineries into HVO technology/co-production facilities or through investment in stand-alone facilities. This type of fuel used to be made exclusively of hydrotreated vegetable oils, hence the name, but today, a much wider range of different feedstocks can be used. HVO Fuel UK’s waste-derived HVO offers lower emissions and better sustainability.

What is the difference between HVO and biodiesel?

The main difference between hydrotreated vegetable oil fuel and regular biodiesel is the production process. HVO uses hydrogen as a catalyst, while biodiesel uses methanol instead in the esterification process. As a result, HVO does not suffer from the main issues in the production of biodiesel, such as oxidation and degradation.

What is HVO made of?

HVO is made from vegetable oils, grease waste, and residues from the agriculture and food industry. It can also be produced from tall oil by-products. HVO is a completely renewable diesel alternative and can help you reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to conventional diesel.

What is HVO in fuels?

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a paraffinic bio-based liquid fuel, which can be made from different kinds of oils and animal fats. It can be used to power conventional diesel engines, pure or blended with fossil diesel (Petro diesel) at any percentage, with no alteration to equipment or parts necessary.

What Is HVO

HVO: Compatibility Of This Fuel With Cummins Transport Ltd

As an example of how HVO renewable diesel is replacing traditional fuels, Cummins Transport Ltd has recently agreed that HVO is a compatible oil for its coach and bus fleets. The fuel can be used as an alternative for standard EN 590 ultra-low sulphur diesel without needing any change to the Cummins fleets’ engines.

There’s also no need for any additional engine maintenance with this fuel, and the same filters can be retained. The fuel can be mixed with standard diesel at different percentages, including to create winter grade fuels. Because it has the same stability and cold-resistant properties as conventional diesel, HVO fuel can be stored and used in the same way as its counterpart.

Things To Know About Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil

A decade ago, biofuels like HVO were limited to only a few countries. But today, this fuel is increasingly in demand, and more countries are making the switch.  The governments of these countries have been drawn to the local and global environmental advantages, the promise of energy security, and the prospect of socioeconomic development through their use. These are benefits that can’t be gained from using other types of fuels.

However, there are some issues about the quality of this paraffinic bio-based liquid fuel because it has a low density and low filter plugging points; these concerns need to be addressed. In short, the changes in the demand for these oil products along with tighter product specifications in the past will affect the role of hydroprocessing in refining.  

Reasons Businesses Like BAM Adopt HVO Fuel

It’s common knowledge that Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil is being used to lessen net CO2 emissions from construction machinery by up to 90 per cent. This is why sustainable businesses like BAM are now recognising the value of using HVO fuel as an alternative to the fuels used previously. Most construction machinery is now using this recycled cooking oil to operate more sustainably. While HVO fuel is at present around 15 per cent more expensive than red diesel, it does pay off ultimately as it’s capable of cutting CO2 emissions dramatically.

Nonetheless, as businesses are increasingly looking for ways to operate more sustainably, a number are deciding to phase out diesel generation and increase the use of HVO to generate power at sites; to roll out electric vehicles to employees at all levels, and so on.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits HVO fuel could offer you and your business, contact us today at HVO Fuel UK. We’re always delighted to discuss the benefits of our products and services with prospective customers.

The beginner’s guide to buying HVO

Learn how HVO lowers CO2, emissions, is fossil-free and a sustainable alternative to conventional fossil diesel.

Hvo fuel brochure on iphone

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