Road freight transport is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in Europe and around the world. To reduce its environmental impact, many transport operators are looking for alternative fuels that can replace or blend with conventional diesel. Two of the most promising options are HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and B100 (pure biodiesel). But what are they, how are they produced, and what are their advantages and disadvantages? In this blog post, we will compare and contrast HVO and B100
What are HVO and B100?
HVO and B100 are both biofuels made from vegetable oils or animal fats. However, they differ in their production process and chemical composition. So what sets these two options for low carbon transport apart?
What are the differences between HVO and B100?
While HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) and B100 (100% Biodiesel) are both renewable fuels, they have notable differences. Nevertheless, it's simple to understand that both HVO and B100 effectively reduce carbon emissions when compared to fossil diesel. Incorporating either or both fuels into the supply chain can contribute to decarbonising road freight.
First Generation Biofuel
B100 is a first generation biodiesel. As the name implies, B100 is pure, 100% biodiesel. In the European Union it's usually produced from crops like rapeseed. Existing diesel engines require a few simple changes in order to run on B100. Many newer engines are already equipped to handle it.
HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) is a second generation biofuel and a drop-in fuel that can be used exactly like fossil diesel. It's usually produced from things like used cooking oil. As one of the highest quality fuels on the market, HVO can reduce carbon emissions by up to 90% compared to fossil diesel.
HVO can be used in any mixture with fossil diesel from 1% - 100% without negatively affecting engine performance or maintenance cycles. That means that carriers don't need to modify their existing engines or buy all-new trucks in order to use HVO.
What are the feedstock differences between HVO and B100?
most common feedstocks for HVO are oil waste products, whereas the most common feedstocks for B100 are plant oils. Ensuring high quality and sustainable feedstocks is key for both HVO and B100. Potential disadvantages for both come down to unsustainable feedstocks. Users can make sure they're receiving only the highest quality fuels by:
Identifying the producer or supplier of their HVO or B100
Requesting a Proof of Sustainability (POS) from their producer or supplier
Committing to only purchasing HVO or B100 from top quality producers and suppliers
Taking these steps will allow users to avoid the potential pitfalls of these renewable fuel sources and take advantage of their positive climate impacts.
Emissions reductions differences for HVO and B100
The standard emissions reduction percentage for HVO according to the GLEC Framework is 64%. Neste, the company that provides the majority of HVO in Europe, can achieve up to 90% emissions reductions compared to fossil diesel with their HVO.
For B100, GLEC's standard emissions reduction percentage is 45%. OLEO100 is an example of a B100 product in France that can reduce emissions up to 60% emissions reductions compared to fossil diesel.
Ultimately, both HVO and B100 are better than fossil diesel, and both are available in different regions of Europe, with coverage expected to expand. Carriers will have to decide which of these renewable, low carbon fuels is best for their business and their trucks.
Learn more about sennder’s HVO and B100 fueling solutions HERE.