What is HVO biofuel?

What is HVO biofuel?

Biofuel, such as HVO, is a type of renewable energy made from organic matter and waste materials and, as it is a second-generation fuel, it eliminates up to 88% of net carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels as well as achieving lower NOx emissions.

An introduction to biofuels in home heating

Biofuels, which can also be referred to as low carbon liquid fuels, are available in different types. There are some low carbon liquid fuels which are 100% sustainable through to others which are a combination of biofuel blended with an existing fuel, such as kerosene oil. Extensive trials are underway, trialling the use of both blended biofuels (mixing biofuels with existing fuels) as well as pure biofuels in heating systems, research which will help decarbonise oil heated homes and other rural, hard to heat properties.

FAME and HVO are two of the types of biofuel currently being trialled in the UK. FAME, which stands for Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, is a waste derived biodiesel – it is created during the transesterification of cooking oils and animals fats, a process which involves a reaction between fatty acids, alcohol and a catalyst. The end products include a raw biodiesel which is suitable for blending with kerosene oil, up to approximately 30%.

What is HVO?

Meanwhile, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a second generation biofuel which is made from similar raw materials as FAME however, instead of using methanol (which is used in the production of FAME), HVO uses hydrogen during its production. HVO can be a ‘drop-in fuel’ which means it is suitable to be a replacement for existing fossil fuels, providing a 100% biofuel option.

HVO biofuels in home heating

Biofuels can significantly help lower the carbon emissions of home heating systems by up to 88%. The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy aims to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 and biofuels, alongside other renewable technologies such as heat pumps, could play a part in helping home heating systems to transition to Net Zero in the coming years. In particular, a boiler operating on HVO may be a more suitable and viable solution to lower the carbon emissions of hard to heat homes which are currently heated with a traditional oil-fired boiler operating on kerosene. 

Grant's HVO compatible oil boilers

All Grant Vortex floor standing oil boilers are biofuel compatible and can be converted to HVO operation with a few simple steps. For further information about the trials taking place into fossil free oil for home heating, please click here and to read a case study following the first school in the UK to swap to a HVO heating system using a Grant boiler, please follow the link.

Return to top