Advantages of HVO compared to conventional diesel and B100

In previous articles we already told you what HVO is, what its main characteristics are and why it was called “green diesel”.

In previous articles we already told you what HVO is, what its main characteristics are and why it was called “green diesel”.

In this post, we want to show you the advantages that HVO offers over conventional diesel and over other biofuels, such as FAME or B100:

  • Net-neutral GHG emissions. HVO takes existing biomass — specifically vegetable oils, animal fat, and used cooking oils — and converts it into a fuel. When HVO is burned, CO2 is still emitted, but because the carbon from the biomass is already naturally in the ecosphere, no net-new carbon dioxide emissions are created, rendering its GHG emissions net neutral. HVO can also potentially reduce localized emissions by lowering the amount of diesel particulates and certain hydrocarbons in the air that can lead to various health issues within communities.
  • Reduction in overall GHG impact. Compared to fossil diesel, HVO can actually reduce GHG impact anywhere from 45-85%. For example, shipping HVO from a location like Singapore would see a reduction in GHG impact closer to the lower end because of the fuel burned during the lengthy transport. A domestic truck transporting HVO from one state to another, say, in the Midwest, would reduce impact even more. And if HVO is produced and used locally, that’s where the highest reductions in GHG could potentially be achieved.
  • Fully replaceable and mixable with #2 diesel. HVO is a drop-in fuel, which means it can be fully replaced for most diesel generator sets. Any #2 diesel tank can be filled with HVO as needed, and vice versa. During a situation in which backup generators may have to run for days on HVO, the data center could still revert to diesel in the event the HVO supply is exhausted and can’t be procured quickly enough.
  • It has Highest heating value among conventional biofuels.
  • Higher energy content compared to FAME or B100, both in MJ/kg and MJ/l. The heating value of HVO (34.4MJ/l) is substantially higher than that of ethanol (21.2MJ/l).
  • Severe winter and arctic grades available due to the isomerization process.
  • Cold properties of HVO can be adjusted to meet the local requirements by adjusting the severity of the process or by additional catalytic processing. “Cold Filter Plugging Point” (CFPP) can go down to -20°C or even -50°C irrespective of the feedstock used. This makes HVO suitable for use during cold winters even in Nordic countries as well as for use as jet fuel.
  • Very high cetane number. Sulphur-free and very low aromatics. Practically free of metals and ash-forming elements.
  • It behaves in logistics, storage and use like fossil diesel fuel (drop-in fuel).
  • No issues with: stability, water separation, microbiological growth, impurities causing precipitation above cloud point.
  • They can be used in diesel engines without blend walls or the modifications required for biodiesel.




In addition to the advantages mentioned, HVO has a number of disadvantages:

  • Scalability and supply: Because HVO mass-production is in its infancy, scale is still a challenge. But as awareness of HVO builds, production of the raw goods increases, and supply issues improve the justification for global HVO use will increase.
    To support this undertaking, major fuel refineries have recently announced they’re now making sizable investments in HVO refining and production, aiming to capitalize on the nascent opportunity.
  • HVO is an expensive fuel to produce, because hydrogen is a limiting factor in production, which is low. Probably in the future it will acquire greater importance.

Meanwhile, some authoritative voices consider HVO to be a safer bet than other alternatives such as biodiesel and, therefore, everything points to HVO definitely becoming much more prevalent in the near future.

If you want to know more about how we are going to lead this movement, contact us.

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