HVO Biodiesel: the advantages and disadvantages

HVO Biodiesel: listing the advantages and disadvantages

Fortunately, more and more forms of sustainable fuels are entering the market. One of them is HVO biodiesel, an organic diesel fuel made from vegetable and animal residues. At Volta Energy, we also use this type of diesel to power the back-up generator in our portable solar panels, so that the batteries can be recharged in an emergency and you will not be left without electricity. But what exactly is HVO biodiesel? And what are its advantages and disadvantages?

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HVO Biodiesel: the advantages and disadvantages

What is renewable biodiesel?

HVO stands for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil. HVO biodiesel, also know as renewable biodiesel, is therefore a biofuel made from hydrogen-treated oils and fats from vegetable and animal sources. So it is a second generation biofuel. Fossil-free and renewable and one of the most sustainable types of diesel at the moment. Especially as it is also suitable as a fuel for medium to heavy engines!

Benefits of HVO biodiesel

Using HVO biodiesel brings a host of benefits:

Fewer emissions
Both production and combustion of HVO fuel often releases up to 90% less CO2 than regular diesel. In the process, less substances such as soot are also emitted, for example.

Fossil-free
HVO biodiesel is made from various renewable raw materials and some residual waste streams. No fossil raw materials are used, which makes HVO biofuel completely fossil-free and biodegradable. Please note, this refers only to HVO100 biodiesel. The number 100 indicates that it is 100% pure and not mixed with fossil diesel.

Good performance
Whereas some types of biofuels cannot deliver the same energy, HVO biofuel often performs surprisingly well. Virtually the same as conventional diesel. As a result, it can be used as a direct replacement for traditional diesel fuels. Usually even without making any modifications to the equipment or engine!

Low maintenance & safe
Besides being sustainable, this type of diesel is also particularly low-maintenance and safer to use than a fossil diesel. This is because it contains no FAME components that can lead to fouled filters and harmful substances in the tank. In addition, it does not solidify at low temperatures, making it excellent for use in winter too.

Odourless
HVO biodiesel not only emits fewer pollutants to the environment, but is also user-friendly for humans. This is because it contains virtually no sulphur particles and aromatics freely, making it almost odourless. This reduces inconvenience for users and everyone in the neighbourhood.

HVO biodiesel disadvantages

While HVO biodiesel has a lot of advantages, HVO biodiesel also has disadvantages:

Nitrogen
Although CO2 and soot emissions are greatly reduced, nitrogen and particulate emissions remain almost the same compared to conventional fossil-based diesel.

Limited raw materials
In theory, HVO biodiesel is produced from renewable resources, but in practice, many of these resources are currently in limited supply. To scale up production of these feedstocks, (agricultural) land will have to be extracted, potentially contributing to the deforestation of the planet.

Cost
Due to limited feedstock and a relatively complicated production process, the cost of HVO biofuels is currently often higher than that of regular fuels. Nevertheless, traditional refineries can be easily converted once the demand for HVO increases.

Conclusion HVO biodiesel

Comparing the pros and cons of HVO biodiesel, it can be concluded that it is a relatively good environment-friendly alternative to fossil diesel fuel. The emissions are less, it is more user-friendly and the disadvantages like increased price and limited resources are only temporary in nature and easier to solve than the problem of fossil fuels running out. However, sustainable power generation is still better done with the power of wind, water or the sun.

Want to know more about the possibilities of renewable energy? We would be happy to help you!

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