What Is HVO Fuel – Pros, Cons and Alternatives Supplied in the UK

What Is HVO Fuel – Pros, Cons and Alternatives Supplied in the UK

No matter where we are in the world, there’s really no denying that sustainable energy is the direction that many individuals, organizations, and businesses are heading.  The question often becomes: how do we start to make the switch to sustainable energy sources?

What options do we have?  Thankfully, here in the UK, there are plenty of ways to do so that is local and simple. With that said, finding them isn’t always the easiest.  Today, we’re here to explain what HVO fuels are, as well as what some additional alternatives are.

Biofuels might not be super familiar to everyone yet, but it’s hard to ignore how impactful they’ve become for anyone looking to go green and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What is HVO Fuel?

hvo fuel in UK

The first question that we are going to examine is this: what is HVO fuel?  HVO stands for hydrotreated vegetable oil, and it’s a type of biofuel that has become quite popular in recent years.  The main appeal with it is that it’s not a type of fossil fuel, making it more sustainable and a renewable resource rather than one that is limited.

Another thing that makes it so popular these days is the fact that it can be used as a replacement for any diesel-based fuel.  This means that there will be a lot less carbon emissions coming from any vehicles or machines that utilize HVO fuels rather than mineral diesel ones.  HVO fuel is made from waste material, which also means that it helps support what are known as “circular” economy structures.

Pros of HVO Fuel

Now that we’ve established what this type of fuel is, let’s discuss what the positives of making the switch are.  Perhaps the most obvious one is the fact that it’s an environmentally friendly option, especially when compared to diesel fuels and fossil fuels.  What else is there, though, since this is sort of a given?

One of the other perks is that HVO fuel has a long shelf life.  This is because hydrogen is used in the manufacturing process as a catalyst.  Therefore, it’ll last longer in storage than diesel as well, which is handy for large operations that prefer to buy in bulk.

The other biggest positive is that making the swap to biofuel isn’t going to require you to adjust your infrastructure much.  Admittedly, most folks do tend to assume that it will be a huge and arduous undertaking.  However, because biofuel serves as a total replacement and stand-in for diesel fuel, the switch should be relatively seamless.

Cons of HVO Fuel

With all of that said about the positives, there are bound to be some negatives to swapping to using HVO fuel as well.  The biggest one is that it does tend to be more expensive to swap over, at least at first.  While over longer periods of time, biofuels are less pricey for businesses, you may not see that in action for quite a while.

The other difficulty that comes with this is the fact that it can be difficult to find suppliers for this sort of fuel here in the United Kingdom.  There are relatively few options and finding them isn’t always easy.  One example is here: https://www.syntechbiofuel.com, if you’d like to learn more about your potential options.

As you can see, though, there aren’t that many negatives to this compared to positives.  That is probably why so many people and organizations have made the choice to swap over to this renewable source of energy, rather than continuing to use fossil fuels in large-scale operations.

Uses for Biofuels

hvo fuel water

As you can probably imagine, there are several ways that we can utilize these sorts of fuels.  After all, they’re quite popular these days, and the process for making them is simple.  When we hydrogenate things like animal fat, grapeseed oil, tall oil, and even oil from cooking waste, it becomes HVO.

From there, we can basically use it for anything that we would utilize diesel fuels in.  Whether that’s in machinery, in cars, or anything else, HVO is quite versatile.  We can reduce our own carbon footprints drastically, as well as the carbon footprint of our organization.

Is it Worth Making the Switch?

ethanol fuel along with gasoline pump in Brazil. Photo by Harry Wood Wikimedia Commons

Since we’ve covered the positives, the negatives, as well as where we can use this type of fuel, let’s delve into one final question: is it worthwhile to make the switch, or should we not bother?  Based on everything we’ve discussed thus far; you can probably tell what our recommendation would be.  With that said, let’s examine this further.

Depending on where you are in the UK, there may be some sort of rebate system for making your business a greener operation.  Environmentalism may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but a lot of places across the world are starting to see the merits and to reward businesses who follow suit.  In that sense, it could be worthwhile.

In addition to that, though, there’s also the fact that it will reflect on you as a brand quite positively.  Customers have shown that they’re more likely to shop at vendors who are eco-friendly, at least here in the UK.  Take that into account as well, especially in terms of building a positive brand identity and reputation for yourself.

On a final note, there’s also the simple reality that in the long-term, HVO fuels tend to be less expensive than diesel.  The process for generating it is not as intensive and requires less money, meaning that consumers end up paying less for it.  The biggest roadblock for now is actually finding a vendor who supplies these alternatives.

Thankfully, there are a few options we can choose from, and you can explore some of the resources we’ve shared today to get a sense for what to expect.  The initial cost may be higher than diesel, but after a while, you’ll be pleased to see that you’re helping the environment and saving yourself some cash.

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