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HVO fuel is a paraffinic diesel fuel which is available in the UK and offers a significant reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions, as well as vastly improved storage properties. Looking to learn more about this renewable fuel? Our experts answer your most commonly asked questions below.

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What is HVO Fuel? Learn more about the FAME-Free Renewable Fuel

HVO fuel (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) is a fossil-free paraffinic diesel, meaning it can be used as a direct replacement for mineral diesel fuel. Made from certified waste materials, HVO therefore supports the circular economy and helps to reduce net CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%.

The road transport and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) industries are facing a number of challenges due to climate change, localised emission control and immature or outdated technologies. HVO fuel solves these issues, being used by many industries in off-road and on-road vehicles and industrial machinery. It’s virtually the same fuel as mineral diesel but has a large number of logistical and environmental benefits.

HVO fuel

To help answer any questions, we’ve put together a FAQ to help anybody considering buying HVO fuel from Crown Oil to better understand its uses – we’re one of the first UK suppliers after all. You can also call our HVO fuel experts to discuss your own requirements and learn how to switch today, by calling us on 0330 123 1444.

What is HVO fuel?

HVO fuel is one of the cleanest fuels on the market. It’s a second-generation, synthetic, advanced renewable diesel alternative that eliminates up to 90% of net CO2 and significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.

As a paraffinic, renewable fuel, HVO can be used as a drop-in alternative to fossil diesel, meeting EN 15940 standards and Fuel Quality Directive 2009/30/EC Annex II. There’s no need to modify existing infrastructure – you can simply top up and go.

What is the price of HVO fuel?

When it comes to HVO fuel price, Crown Oil can supply the renewable diesel to businesses across the UK at a competitive rate, within 48 hours of purchase. In terms of price per litre, HVO fuel does have a premium over regular diesel, however, it offers up to 90% reduced net CO2 emissions without the cost of changing hardware. 

Get in touch on 0330 123 1444 for an HVO fuel quote to start reducing your greenhouse gas emissions today.

What is paraffinic diesel?

Paraffinic diesels are high-quality, synthetic clean liquid fuels. Crown HVO fuel is part of the paraffinic family of fuels which are characterised by having low aromatic and naphthenic hydrocarbon content and zero sulphur, which makes them extremely pure fuels.

HVO is synthesised from vegetable oils or animal fats using a specialist hydrotreatment process and its purity allows it to significantly reduce harmful emissions when used in diesel vehicles and machinery through much-improved burning efficiency.

Are paraffinic diesel fuels like HVO fuel better than traditional fuels?

With the growing drive to tackle the root causes of climate change, both public and private sectors are under huge pressure to reduce their environmental impact. We’re passionate about providing sustainable alternatives and we believe Crown HVO fuel is invaluable in doing so, thanks to its plethora of green and operational benefits which we discuss below.

HVO fuel is significantly better for the environment compared to mineral diesel and is therefore key in helping the UK achieve its net-zero carbon target.

How is renewable diesel made?

Hydrotreating vegetable oils is a modern way to produce high-quality diesel fuels from completely renewable materials which can be regrown when stock is needed. The crops that are used to produce HVO fuel bypass damage to the environment, the natural ecosystem and the drive for global deforestation.

What is FAME diesel?

First-generation biodiesel, sometimes called FAME or UCOMe (used cooking oil methyl ester) is produced by esterifying a natural oil or fat (vegetable oil or animal fat) with methanol to produce biodiesel and glycerol. Once the glycerol is removed from the biodiesel, it’s then added to all road transport diesel in order to meet the UK Government’s Road Fuel Transport Obligation (RTFO).

The ester bond present within biodiesel (FAME and UCOMe) is weak and can be attacked by water, oxygen and diesel bug which produces sludge when stored. The properties of biodiesel are a function of the raw materials used and therefore vary across producers and batches.

In an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels the amount of first-generation biodiesel which is aged to fuels is being increased year-on-year by governments. This is leading to increased issues with fuel storage and operational performance, such as cold temperature flow and filter plugging. If used as a 100% fuel, first-generation biodiesel may also be more damaging to the environment as it can increase particulate and NOx emissions.

HVO fuel fully meets the RTFO and therefore can be used as a 100% fuel with no addition of first-generation biodiesel, removing all the operational problems that can happen when using this type of fuel.

There are several methods for the creation of renewable fuels, such as transesterification or fermentation. HVO is made through a two-stage process known as hydrotreatment, where feedstocks are saturated with hydrogen at high temperatures (over 300oC), followed by a stage of isomerisation/cracking to give the end product the desired fuel qualities.

The highly controlled HVO fuel production process ensures a consistent and high-quality product. HVO does not contain any esters or contamination which avoids its performance being affected either at the point of use or after extended storage. Therefore, it does not react with water or oxygen or form sludge whilst in storage. HVO fuel is also resistant to attack by “diesel bug“, allowing it to be stored for extended periods of time.

Growth and reuse cycle

HVO is produced from waste streams, plant and animal matter. Plants are grown and oils are taken away and used for their main purpose, recollected and then converted into HVO. When HVO is burnt, any CO2 that is released is then sequestered back into a plant on the next regrowth cycle. This closed loop ensures there is no net CO2 increase.

What is the difference between FAME diesel and HVO fuel?

When it comes to knowing the difference between HVO renewable diesel and traditional biodiesel, the differences may seem subtle but are quite different.

With its paraffinic petrochemical structure, HVO is functionally almost identical to fossil diesel and can, therefore, be used and handled as a drop-in alternative to fossil diesel without needing to amend infrastructure or clean out existing stock. However, while similar to regular diesel in terms of energy content, density, viscosity and flash point, HVO fuel has a number of advantages over fossil fuels.

The chemical process used to manufacture HVO fuel ensures a consistent product that contains no esters or contamination; factors which can adversely affect the performance of the fuel both at the point of use or after extended storage.

As the legislative requirement for “bio” content in fuel increases, the FAME content in fossil fuels will also increase. HVO fuel meets the requirements of current legislation – it’s 100% bio and FAME-free, so it doesn’t face the issues of stability faced by many existing biodiesel and gas oil products.

This makes HVO a much more stable product than mineral diesel with a reduced risk of degradation when in storage due to zero FAME and sulphur content. The production process affords a shelf life of up to ten years, providing good storage and maintenance, as opposed to the comparatively short 1-year shelf life of mineral diesel.

With a high cetane number of greater than 70 and low cloud point, HVO provides improved cold start performance, clean combustion and less chance of waxing in extreme temperatures than regular DERV.

HVO Fuel Test
Does HVO fuel really reduce harmful emissions?

To demonstrate the reduction of emissions from using Crown HVO fuel, we enlisted fully independent test centre, Applied Emissions, to compare the chemical output of both fuels in a 275 KVA generator. The results showed a significant NOx reduction of 7.5% across both tests, showing that using HVO fuel improves air quality by simply changing the fuel in non-designated areas.

The CO, CO2 and hydrocarbons (HC) results highlighted the improved burning characteristic of HVO fuel compared to the standard fuel. In particular, the large reduction in HC demonstrated that more of the HVO injected into the cylinder is combusted, reflecting the consistent nature of the fuel in terms of hydrocarbon molecules that it contains.

The table below compares the different characteristics of HVO fuel, FAME, and regular diesel.

CharacteristicDieselFAMEHVO Fuel
BIO Content0100100
Oxygen Level0110
Sulphur Content<10<1<5
Specific Gravity0,840,880,78
Distillation Level, C200 – 350340 – 355200 – 320
Cetane Level5150 – 6570 – 90
Stability from OxidationAverageBelow Average – PoorExcellent
What are the advantages of second-generation renewable fuels?

Advanced second-generation fuels, also known as advanced renewable fuels, have been designed to combat the operational and performance inadequacies of conventional fuels and earlier generation biofuels:

  • Maintain or enhance the net CO2 emission profile of conventional biofuels
  • Ensure end-use quality compared to current sulphur-free fossil fuels
  • Compatible with existing fuelling infrastructure
  • Backward and forward compatibility with vehicle and plant technology
  • Refuse to react with water and won’t be “eaten” by bugs
  • Meet bio content requirements with no FAME content
  • Remain mobile and filterable down to low temperatures
  • Provide the best environmental credentials available from a liquid fuel
  • Meet or exceed the lubricity requirements of the major diesel performance specifications EN 590 and ASTM D975
  • Maintain compatibility with fossil diesel and supply chain
  • Improve emission profile from E590 optimised engines and provides a platform for further development of C.N. engines

HVO fuel offers the best overall coverage between environmental, operational and performance parameters. It provides the best platform to build a legislative compliant NRMM and MCP fleet. To learn more, get in touch today on 0330 123 1444.

What is the cetane number of diesel?

Mineral diesel has a cetane number of 51 and FAME biodiesel has a cetane number between 50 and 65 – whereas HVO has a cetane number between 70 and 90 which provides better starting performance, clean combustion and less chance of waxing in extremely cold weather.

What is HVO fuel used for?

HVO fuel is perfectly suited to a wide range of industries as an alternative to diesel, such as construction, rail, events and public transport.

It’s commonly used in:

  • Portable generators
  • Commercial boilers
  • Agricultural tractors and machinery
  • Boasts and vessels operating within inland waterways
  • Construction equipment and machinery
  • Industrial trucks and tankers

A handful of events and UK festivals, including Glastonbury, have already made the move to HVO fuel to power their portable generators and transportation.

hvo fuel
Can HVO fuel be used as an alternative to kerosene heating oil?

Currently the UK heating authority, OFTEC, running trials of HVO fuel as a viable alternative to kerosene heating oil with success. To do this, it is working with a range of partners, including Crown Oil, as part of its future fuels campaign.

The benefits of switching to HVO fuel from kerosene heating oil, beyond using a renewable fuel, is the significantly lower cost of converting a boiler to run on HVO, compared to the overhauling the entire heating system. Trero-fitting your boiler to run on HVO will cost a few hundred pounds, while switching to a new system will cost thousands!

Switching to a renewable heating oil is important due to the government’s efforts to decarbonise heat from off-the-grid homes and commercial buildings, to help achieve their net zero targets. Alternative ways, including different fuels and oils have been explored in order to reduce and eventually replace kerosene heating oil and gas oil usage in homes and businesses.

The good news about using HVO fuel is that you will not need to replace your current kerosene fuelled heating oil system in order to heat your home. Something that is a possibility in future with other options that are being explored.

HVO fuel can provide you with a workable solution without the expense for all housing types and incomes in order to help ensure you can avoid the financial burden which other low carbon options currently face. In fact, due to the similarities, many existing heating oil systems are able to use HVO as a drop-in alternative to existing heating oils.

Even where this is not possible (check with the manufacturer of your boiler first), many leading burner manufacturers have begun to develop low-cost retrofits for their boilers, in order to enable them to burn HVO fuel in place of kerosene and other heating oils. This makes it a much more desirable scheme to incentivise, reducing the high costs needed from the consumer and therefore increasing uptake far sooner.

Learn more about the renewable heating oil market with Crown HVO fuel.

What are the benefits of Crown HVO fuel?

There are many benefits of using Crown HVO fuel, including operational and environmental factors. These include:

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%
  • Meets EN 15940:2016 specifications
  • Improve your corporate and social responsibility with Crown HVO fuel
  • Extended 10-year storage lifespan with a reduced need for regular testing
  • A renewable, sustainable replacement for regular diesel and gas oil
  • All deliveries are carbon offset – at no extra cost to you
  • Year-round performance
  • Tested and tried product; it’s clean, safe and endorsed by a wide range of OEMs
  • Excellent cold-weather performance
  • Zero FAME, sulphur and fossil content
  • Free from aromatics, sulphur and metals
  • Reduced particulate production during combustion reduces the ageing of engine oils
  • Cleaner and greener air
  • Fully biodegradable, sustainable and non-toxic
Can my vehicle run on pure HVO fuel?

Yes, absolutely! The similarities between mineral diesel and HVO mean that it can be used as a drop-in alternative in most cases. But it’s always best to check with your engine manufacturer first. Or you can call us on 0330 123 1444 and we’ll be able to help.

What manufacturer approvals does HVO fuel have?

HVO fuel has OEM approvals from a wide range of manufacturers for a wide range of diesel engines. An OEM approval means that the fuel can be used with no risk of voiding the warranty of the vehicle or machinery.

Please consult the below list of manufacturers that have approved the use of HVO fuel in their engines to see if your hardware is covered. If your engine manufacturer is not included, give us a call and we will be able to contact the provider to determine whether your engine can use HVO. Many vehicle handbooks are now outdated so may not include HVO approvals yet, but it’s likely you can use HVO without any issues.

Passenger car manufacturers approving the use of HVO fuel

  • Citroën
  • DS Automobiles
  • Ford (for it’s Transit van)
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Peugeot
  • Renault
  • Volvo

Heavy-duty road vehicle manufacturers approving the use of HVO fuel

  • Mercedes-Benz
  • DAF
  • Iveco
  • MAN
  • Renault
  • Scania
  • Volvo Trucks

Non-road vehicle manufacturers approving the use of HVO fuel

  • AGCO
  • Caterpillar
  • John Deere
  • Scania
  • Steyr

Diesel engine manufacturers approving the use of HVO fuel

  • Daimler
  • Deutz
  • FPT
  • MTU
  • Perkins
  • Scania
  • Volvo Penta
Can you mix HVO fuel and diesel?

Yes, HVO fuel is fully miscible with mineral diesel so you can simply top up your existing diesel stocks and go! However, many of the benefits will be lost if they are mixed due to diesel’s properties. When possible, it’s best to start a fresh with a clean tank of HVO to guarantee its long storage life and high-quality attributes.

What additional infrastructure is needed for HVO fuel?

HVO fuel can be used as a direct drop-in alternative for regular diesel without needing to amend existing infrastructure. Paraffinic fuels can be blended with current stocks without having to empty tanks, saving you the cost of an additional upfront investment to make the switch.

Can fossil free HVO fuel cause engine problems?

Crown HVO fuel can be used in most diesel engines, but you should always check with the engine manufacturer’s recommendations for each use. As mentioned already, HVO fuel has been approved by a wide range of OEMs.

Contact Crown Oil to check if your heavy-duty road vehicle, passenger car or non-road vehicle can use HVO fuel.

How long can you store HVO fuel for?

Thanks to the way HVO is produced, it can be left in storage for up to 10 years, as long as you ensure good tank maintenance and storage conditions. It’s still important to get checks on your tank and fuel, but the chance of degradation is much lower than with mineral diesel, which can only be stored for up to 1 year.

Is HVO fuel toxic?

HVO fuel is completely biodegradable, non-toxic and odourless as it’s made from 100% renewable waste materials. As a tried and tested clear and bright diesel fuel, it’s perfectly clean and safe to use.

What are the specifications of HVO fuel

We have created a downloadable PDF showing the information related to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel. EN 15940 and ASTM D975 Diesel Fuel

The table includes the parameters, test method, units, specification and typical value. All of the information can be found here in our HVO fuel spec PDF.

If you have any further questions about the specifications of HVO fuel, you can call our HVO fuel experts on 0330 123 1444.

HVO fuel or electric vehicles? Which is better for the environment?

Achieving net zero on time means we need to be smarter about our technology choices; we can’t simply substitute them for something that appears to work in the short term.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers recently published their Accelerating Road Transport Decarbonisation report which raises some concerns over the Government’s electrification strategy.

While the decarbonisation of electricity is developing and electric vehicles (EVs) offer a reduction in emissions at the point of use, there are some hindrances.

Life cycle analysis, also referred to as ‘cradle-to-grave analysis’ is a technique used to calculate the environmental and human health impacts of a product over its lifespan. The government’s aim is to reduce emissions at the point of use; however, the lifecycle analysis revealed that the entire lifespan of a vehicle produces greenhouse gases, from production to the eventual disposal.

In addition, the infrastructure needed to build charging points and lay cables to power EVs is not taken into account and will undoubtedly be fuelled by fossil fuels.

Lastly, there are around 308.3 million passenger vehicles on the road across Europe, with an average lifespan of 12 years, and 99% of these are diesel/petrol.

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, there isn’t enough time to wait for an increase in EV uptake to make a significant reduction in emissions to reset the balance of the carbon cycle. The adoption of electric vehicles is not the sole answer; and switching to renewable, paraffinic fuels offers a much easier and immediate solution.

Does Crown HVO fuel contain palm oil?

At Crown Oil, we do not support the use or sale of palm oil derived HVO and will only supply ISCC verified waste derived product into the market.

The Proof of Sustainability (POS) confirms the origin of raw material and ensures that users can verify the credentials of Crown HVO. Our renewable diesel product does not contain any products that contribute to global deforestation and is therefore accepted by the RFTO. It also qualifies for further RFTO credits as it’s derived from 100% waste products.

How long has HVO fuel been available to buy in Sweden?

Sweden is leading the way in terms of HVO fuels, after passing legislation in 2017 to make them exempt from tax. This saw a 124% increase in HVO fuel sales in October 2017 compared to the year prior, with green diesel alternatives taking up 28% of the market, of which 83% was HVO fuel.

Heavyweight enterprises such as Glastonbury, Hamburg airport and the Eurovision Song Contest have likewise made the switch to sustainable fuel and are already reaping the benefits.

Where can I get HVO fuel in the UK?

This is a question many of our customers had before reaching out to Crown Oil.

Unfortunately, HVO fuel is not widely stocked and sold at petrol filling stations across the UK, unlike regular white diesel. For that reason, many people and businesses are finding that they need to purchase HVO fuel either in 205-litre barrels / 45-gallon drums, or buying it in bulk to store on their premises in quantities ranging from 500 litres and up.

As one of the leading suppliers in the UK, Crown Oil has been supplying HVO fuel to customers across the UK. Like all of our fuels, oils and lubricants, we’ve made HVO fuel available nationwide with same-day and next-day deliveries.

If you still have any questions about HVO fuel or maybe you’re ready to go green and clean our air with Crown HVO fuel – one of the world’s purest, cleanest and greenest fuels. Call our HVO fuel experts today on 0330 123 1444 to discuss your requirements and request a quote.

Who can buy HVO fuel?

Unlike rebated fuels such as red diesel, HVO fuel is available for purchase by anybody with the facilities to store it, whether that be in barrels/drums or their on-site fuel storage containers.

If you wish to purchase HVO fuel, it’s available in tanker deliveries of 500 litres to 36,000+ litres if you have the onsite infrastructure to store liquid fuels, or we can also deliver it in 205-litre barrels.

How long will HVO fuel take to be delivered?

Due to our vast network of oil depots, we store HVO fuel onsite which enables us to deliver it within our usual standard delivery times. This makes us one of the only UK suppliers that can have it delivered directly to your site within 24-48 hours of purchase.

If you need HVO fuel sooner than that, you can take advantage of our emergency fuel delivery service which will ensure your HVO fuel delivery is with you in just a few hours.


* Crown Oil HVO fuel complies with BS EN 15940 being the British Standard for paraffinic diesel fuel which is a new generation of cleaner transport fuel for use in road vehicles. If your vehicle is still within the manufacturer’s warranty or if you have taken out mechanical breakdown insurance, we recommend you check with the manufacturer or insurer that use of our product will not affect your cover. We cannot be held responsible for any issues with your vehicle connected to its age or pre-existing condition.

If you are interested in making the switch to HVO fuel or even if you have further questions about HVO. Get in touch with one of our HVO fuel experts today by calling 0330 123 1444 to learn more and get your questions answered.

tonnes of net CO2 reduced across our transport fleet from using HVO

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