What is HVO?
HVO fuel, also known as hydrotreated vegetable oil or HVO, is a premium quality second-generation renewable diesel alternative made from renewable, sustainable raw materials.
HVO fuel is a synthetic paraffinic fuel that’s stable, 100% renewable and sustainable making it perfectly suited for use in propulsion engines, generators and diesel heating systems. The fuel is entirely fossil-free, FAME-free and has a wide range of manufacturer approvals for use in both marine propulsion engines and diesel heating systems.
Most importantly, using HVO diesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%, significantly reducing your carbon footprint.
Will HVO damage my engine?
First-generation biodiesel, sometimes called FAME is produced by esterifying a natural oil or fat with methanol to produce biodiesel and glycerol.
The ester bond present within FAME biodiesel is weak and can be attacked by water, oxygen and diesel bug which produces sludge when stored. This can present problems particularly in boats where tanks are often quite large meaning fuel can sit for a long period of time and there is little mixing of the tank.
Although HVO is a renewable diesel it is completely FAME free and does not suffer from any of the problems associated with FAME based biodiesel.
Even if you don’t use biodiesel it is increasingly likely that you are putting a proportion of FAME based biofuel into your tank when you fill up. The Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) means that biofuel is now blended with regular diesel in order to lower impact of fossil fuels.
Most forecourt pumps are now labelled as B7 diesel, indicating 7% of the fuel is biodiesel. Though this is fine for road vehicles, RCR have reported seeing an increase in fuel related problems on boats and believe the lack of FAME free fuels as a result of the RTFO may be to blame.
HVO fuel fully meets the RTFO with no requirement for the addition of first-generation biodiesel, as FAME free diesel becomes harder to find HVO may be a great choice for the environment but engine reliability as well.
Do I need to make any changes to use HVO?
HVO is a drop-in alternative to fossil diesel, meeting EN 15940 standards and Fuel Quality Directive 2009/30/EC Annex II. There is no need to modify any part of your engine or fuel systems or clean tanks of any existing fuel, simply switch to filling up with HVO and lower your carbon footprint. You can mix fossil diesel and HVO with no problem, though in order to maximise the emissions benefits pure HVO is the best option.
To see how HVO compares to diesel check out the video of independent testing undertaken for Crown Oils.
HVO Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes, absolutely! The similarities between mineral diesel and HVO mean that it can be used as a drop-in alternative in most cases. If in doubt check with your engine manufacturer.
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.
Where can I buy HVO?
We sell HVO from our yard at Stonebridge Lock as well as on board our service vessel covering most of the London Canal Network.
For more info about our coverage area see our schedule and information page here.
We can also arrange for supply to vessels on the tidal Thames through our marine fuel delivery network.