HVO & Renewable Diesel Fuels

Responding to the demand for cleaner-burning diesel fuel, refineries and suppliers have introduced various fuels derived from renewable resources.  One such renewable diesel option is Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil or HVO. HVO fuel is produced using the same components as biodiesel but with a different process that modifies the properties of the final renewable diesel fuel product.

Despite being newer to the market, Foster Fuels is a trusted HVO fuel supplier. Contact us today to learn if HVO renewable diesel is a viable option for your current operations.

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It is no secret that data center facilities require diesel generators for backup power in the event of a power disruption. As the data center industry pledges stronger commitments to environmental sustainability, biofuels look like a formidable alternative to petroleum diesel. Earlier biofuels like FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) Biodiesel proved problematic during long-term storage for critical backup systems when exposed to contamination from microbes, water entrainment, and temperature instability.

HVO fuel mitigates the problems seen with FAME Biodiesel while retaining the benefits of renewable components in the production process and greenhouse gas reductions throughout the fuel’s lifecycle. HVO has been used by data centers in Europe for over a decade and is approved for use in Caterpillar, Kohler and Cummins generators.

Five Benefits of Switching to HVO Fuel

Key advantages of using HVO compared to other diesel alternatives include:

  1. Lower carbon emissions: Considered a cleaner-burning fuel, HVO produces smaller particulate, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide emissions than its first-generation biodiesel and conventional diesel counterparts.
  2. Superior fuel efficiency: HVO’s high cetane value leads to more complete combustion and better engine performance. As a result, those using it often experience better fuel efficiency and cost savings down the line.
  3. Sustainable production: Produced from waste and residues, many regard HVO as a renewable and sustainable energy source that helps reduce businesses’ reliance on more harmful alternatives.
  4. Engine compatibility: With properties similar to traditional diesel fuel, HVO eliminates the need to alter engine design or modify fuel injectors. We can also recommend blends or additives to maximize lubricity and reduce engine wear based on your locale, operating conditions, and seasonal climate changes.
  5. Cold weather performance: HVO was designed to perform well in cold weather conditions and with the right blend of additives can ensure reliable operation and reduce the risk of fuel related issues during winter months.

How is HVO Fuel made?

HVO is made using organic oils and fats, particularly from vegetables and plants. The components are hydrogenated and then hydrocracked to produce this energy-rich fuel.

How does HVO fuel compare with regular diesel fuel (ULSD)?

Most HVO fuels are almost identical in specifications to standard Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel. HVO complies with ASTM D975 standards for diesel fuel.

These two renewable fuels are produced through different processes. Biodiesel is made by reacting vegetable oils with alcohol to create fatty acid methyl esters. HVO, also known as renewable diesel or green diesel, is produced by hydrogenation, which removes oxygen and sulfur to create paraffinic hydrocarbons, making it a more modern fuel solution.

Can HVO be mixed with petroleum diesel?

Yes, hydrotreated vegetable oil and ULSD can be mixed with no change to your generator or engines.

How does HVO affect emissions derived from diesel engines?

Most commonly used HVO fuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 40% and 90% and typically contain 85% less sulfur than ULSD.

When Was HVO Fuel Invented?

HVO is a relatively new product that started production in 2007. However, it is quickly growing in popularity due to its reduction in carbon emissions and potent performance.

How popular is HVO?

Globally, HVO fuel is the third most popular renewable diesel behind Ethanol and FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) Biodiesel.

HVO fuel is quickly gaining popularity and public support as public awareness of environmental issues grows. With a projected compound annual growth rate of over 13 percent, this fuel type will remain a viable option.

Is HVO Sustainable?

Yes. HVO fuel provides a substantial reduction in Co2 emissions.

From power generation and transportation to construction, military and aviation, organizations worldwide have implemented HVO into their fuel plans.

HVO Fuel Production Process

According to ETIP Bioenergy, “HVO is produced by hydrogenation and hydrocracking of vegetable oils and animal fats using hydrogen and catalysts at high temperatures and pressures. In this hydrotreating process, oxygen is removed from the feedstocks consisting of triglycerides and/or fatty acids. The resulting products consist of straight-chained hydrocarbons (paraffins) with varying properties and molecular size depending on the feedstock characteristics and the process conditions. The conversion usually takes place in two stages: hydrotreatment followed by hydrocracking/isomerization. The hydrotreatment typically takes place between 300 – 390°C. For treatment of triglycerides, propane is a typical by-product.”

Contact Us About HVO Today

Foster Fuels has been providing fuel nationwide for nearly a century. Trust us for all your renewable diesel and HVO fuel needs. Contact us today!