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Future Fuels – Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil

The petroleum industry is now in need of changing its approach as the world looks to reduce harmful emissions. As a result, the focus is now on using sustainable fuels instead of traditional fuels.

One option is hydrotreated vegetable oil but how much do you know about it and what does it offer?

What is it?

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a paraffinic diesel fuel and is considered to be renewable and sustainable while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a pure fuel that is 100% renewable and that makes it better for the environment.

It is made using a hydrotreatment that consists of renewable materials. It is manufactured using a two-stage process that involves saturating feedstocks with hydrogen at extreme temperatures of more than 300 degrees Celsius before they are cracked in order to remove any impurities from the fuel. This then results in a fuel that consists of exceptional quality with no contaminants or esters and that enables it to retain its performance.

Is It Considered a Good Fuel?

Essentially, this is considered a good fuel as it consists of straight-chained molecules and consists of very few impurities. It has a multitude of benefits that makes it better than diesel. This includes its high cetane number which is above 70 while it also has a low cloud point of -32 degrees Celsius. This means that it improves cold start properties, it burns cleaner and performs better at cold temperatures.

Furthermore, this fuel will also help to reduce Co2 emissions by as much as 90% with NOx emissions being reduced by 27% and PM emissions by as much as 84%. All of these figures help to prove that this fuel will lead to improved air quality when chosen over diesel.

The Advantages

This fuel is 100% renewable and biodegradable, making it one of the best biofuels out there. It also boasts exception performance while it requires less maintenance and is safer when handled. It can also reduce greenhouse emissions by as much as 90% and it has zero FAME, fossil and sulphur content as a result of its burn properties which helps to decrease particulate production.


One of the main disadvantages is that it is not readily available although the possibilities of HVO have been recognised on a wider scale and so, demand is rising. The number of production plants needs to increase which means that finished fuel is having to be shipped over long distances, which offsets some of the environmental benefits of HVO.

What Can it Be Used For?

HVO is a drop-in alternative to regular diesel so this means that any vehicle or machinery that runs on white or red diesel can use it. Therefore, it can be used by:

  • Construction equipment and machinery
  • Industrial trucks and tankers
  • Agricultural tractors and machinery
  • Boats and vessels that are operated on inland waterways.

It is clear to see that HVO has the potential to become one of the future fuels. So, with better accessibility and production, there is no reason why this cannot become a replacement for standard diesel, helping to create a cleaner, healthier environment.

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