HVO Problems Dismissed: Sorting Fact from Fiction
As the UK government plans to bring in additional legislation to protect the environment, alternative fuels such as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) are becoming increasingly invaluable in the UK’s journey to reduce 78% of national emissions by 2035 as part of a new Sixth Carbon Budget.
As such, HVO’s popularity is increasing thanks to its wide range of environmental and logistical benefits. But because the fuel is still relatively new in the UK, there is some incorrect information out there, such as that HVO is not sustainable – when in fact, these websites are trying to undermine the positives that HVO brings to the fuel sector. So, to help clear the air, we’ve put together this guide which includes common misconceptions about HVO fuel problems to explain what’s true – and what’s not.
Myth 1: All HVO fuel comes from palm oil
Fact: No, our renewable diesel contains none of the products that contribute to global deforestation and is accepted by the Renewable Fuel Transport Obligation (RFTO)
We do not support the sale of palm oil and only supply ISCC (International Sustainability Carbon Certification) verified waste derived product into the market. The Proof of Sustainability (POS) confirms the origin of raw material and ensures users can verify the credentials of Crown HVO. We are also a member of the Renewable Fuel Assurance Scheme (RFAS), an initiative designed and managed by Zemo Partnership which verifies our claims regarding Crown HVO’s greenhouse gas emission savings and provenance of raw material feedstocks.
With a combination of ISCC certification and the checks and balances in place under the RFTO, administered by the Department for Transport, Crown Oil’s HVO fuel undergoes multiple extensive audit processes to ensure both sustainability and product integrity are ensured.
What’s more, as per the European Union’s sustainability standards, palm oil is being phased out in mainland Europe by 2030, so many suppliers are ensuring the traceability of raw ingredients.
Myth: 2 HVO is a biodiesel
Fact: HVO is a renewable diesel and is not a biodiesel.
This is because it’s FAME-free and 100% renewable hydrocarbon, so it has none of the performance problems that biofuels face. As a synthetic product, HVO’s molecules are consistent which significantly reduces the risk of degradation as a result of water and microbial contamination bacteria/fungi. This means HVO performs much better than regular biodiesel as it’s not at risk of degradation when in storage. This allows it to boast a ten times’ longer shelf life, in addition to having better cold-start properties.
Benefit vs biodiesel
- Consistent product
- A true diesel fuel
- No storage concerns (10-year shelf life)
- No heating or recirculation required during storage
- Will not block filters in cold temperatures
- Can be mixed in all proportions with mineral diesel
- Fully sustainable and renewable
Benefit vs diesel
- Non-blended – consistency of quality and structure
- No aromatics – improved burn efficiency
- Reduced health and environmental risk
- Improved cold start properties
- Particulate matter & NOx reductions
- Fully sustainable and renewable
Myth 3: I need additional infrastructure to use HVO fuel
Fact: No additional infrastructure is required at all.
As paraffinic fuels can be used neat or blended in existing diesel engines and distribution and refuelling infrastructure, HVO doesn’t require any additional upfront investment from consumers or the government to make the switch.
Therefore, these fuels can be supplied, stored and used within existing infrastructure – you can simply top up and go.
Myth 4: HVO is not compatible with my diesel car
Fact: Low emission fuels such as HVO can be used in most engines, but you should always check with your engine manufacturer and follow their recommendations.
As HVO is a paraffinic diesel fuel that meets EN15940 standard, its chemical structure is virtually identical to fossil diesel, allowing it to be used as a direct replacement for white and red diesel, while causing no issues with your engine.
Many vehicle handbooks are outdated so may not include HVO approvals yet, but it’s likely you can use HVO without any issues. To find out whether your engine is compatible with HVO, check with the manufacturer.
Myth 5: HVO will affect my vehicle’s performance
Fact: In most cases, using HVO fuel has a positive effect on your vehicle’s performance.
Due to its high cetane number of up to 90 and a low cloud point of -32oC, HVO has an efficient and clean combustion that gives the vehicle extra power without leaving harmful deposits in the combustion chamber. HVO is also generally better at cold starts and there are no concerns over performance during winter compared to FAME-blended fuels and other traditional forms of biodiesel.
Myth 6: HVO can cause engine problems
Fact: No, most major engine manufacturers support the use of HVO fuel, leaving no cleaning effect on engines.
You can learn more about our fuel’s specification here. HVO outperforms both conventional biodiesel and fossil diesel in terms of engine performance and environmental impact.
Myth 7: Using HVO can affect engine warranties
Fact: HVO is an EN15940 fuel and is recognised by most manufacturers. It’s always best to check with your handbook before making the switch beforehand.
Myth 8: HVO requires additives
Fact: Crown Oil’s HVO product is 100% HVO which ensures that none of its attributes are lost during blending.
Myth 9: HVO is a new fuel that hasn’t been tested yet
Fact: No – HVO isn’t as new as people think.
HVO fuel been available in continental Europe for over 10 years and is available to the general public at the pump in Scandinavia and Benelux.
To find out more about Crown HVO fuel, call us today on 0330 123 1444 to speak to our HVO specialists who have the knowledge and industry contacts to ensure you have all the information you need to make the switch. It’s simple. Make the right choice: choose HVO today.