What is the Difference Between Diesel and HVO Fuel?
Posted on 12th February 2020
Crown HVO fuel is our newest renewable diesel fuel which stands for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil. It’s a FAME-free, paraffinic, premium quality diesel fuel, made from renewable raw materials. HVO fuel is still relatively new to the UK market which makes us one of the only suppliers who can sell it to the mass market.
The renewable diesel is already available at the pump in Finland, Sweden and other European countries; Finland was quick to see its potential and introduced excise duty relief to help drive adoption rates. These are now being phased out as the market has expanded to the point where it’s self-sustaining and we hope to see the UK follow in its green footsteps to encourage green fuel adoption.
The benefits of HVO fuel include excellent cold temperature performance, extended storage, high cetane number, a lower emission profile and up to 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
HVO fuel and Diesel Chemical Output Test
To prove HVO fuel’s benefits in improving business green credentials, we wanted to test it against DERV so that we could compare the chemical output of both fuels.
To help us carry out the experiment, we enlisted the help of fully independent test house, Applied Emissions in December 2018. Applied Emissions use PEMS test protocols which offer the most rigorous testing conditions within the automotive industry.
We ran a 275 KVA generator with standard diesel and then again with Crown HVO fuel to test and compared the output of both fuels. We also tested Crown HVO fuel on a common rail injected diesel engine with a mechanical pump, which allowed us to change the injection timing to measure the effect this will have on NOx production.
This was an important test as HVO fuel’s higher cetane number should allow more freedom for the OEM to tune its equipment for HVO fuel and potentially reduce unabated emissions.
Watch our video to see the results of our experiment.
The results of our tests
The results show a significant NOx reduction of 7.5% across the two tests. Whilst this is not sufficient to bring the generator equipment into compliance within ULEZs, it shows that using Crown HVO fuel reduces NOx emissions and therefore improves air quality by simply changing the fuel in non-designated areas.
The second test shows an overall reduction of NOx of ca 30% can be achieved by retarding the injector timing by around 1o.
The carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrocarbon (HC) results show the improved burning characteristics of HVO fuel compared to standard diesel fuel. In particular, the large reduction in HC shows that more of the HVO fuel injected into the cylinder is combusted, reflecting the consistent nature of the fuel in terms of the hydrocarbon molecules that it contains.
Overall, we are really pleased with the results as they prove that Crown HVO fuel is an immediate solution to reduce air pollution without costly engine modifications. We are eager to also look at the effects on other emissions to further support HVO fuel’s many benefits.
The tests prove that Crown HVO fuel is significantly better for the environment in terms of fewer harmful emissions, something which is increasingly important in helping the UK achieve its 2050 net-zero target for greenhouse gas emissions.