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HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oil). The word "vegetable" should not be misleading - originally only vegetable oils were used as the starting material, but over 20 years of technology development, animal fats supplied by the meat and dairy industries and the oil and fat waste of public catering facilities have now also become quite successful as the raw material. Thus, HVO is produced from the same starting products as first-generation biodiesel but it has a different production technology and therefore is a completely different product, which is especially noticeable when comparing their main characteristics. It should be emphasized that the quality of the feedstock for HVO production can be the same and even much lower than that of biodiesel based on FAME (fatty acid methyl esters), but the final product is significantly superior in its properties.

In general terms, the technological side of HVO production is hydrorefining of vegetable oils or oil and fat waste with their subsequent heating to high temperatures. As a result, they are separated into impurity fraction and odorless substance which is as close as possible to fossil fuels in its chemical structure. Low distillation range, increased cetane number and absence of aromatic substances significantly affects the stability of the composition and characteristics of this fuel, and consequently - the safety of its storage and use, the cheaper engine operation. Therefore, hydrogenated vegetable oil is positioned as an advanced, renewable and environmentally friendly synthetic alternative to conventional diesel fuel. Thus, use of 100% HVO reduces CO2 emissions into the atmosphere (the percentage varying depending on the type of feedstock), as well as significantly reducing the release into the environment of nitrogen oxides NOx, carbon monoxide CO (up to 65%) and particulate matter (up to 80%).

From the operational and technical point of view, HVO shows better combustion and filtration capacity, reduces the detrimental effect on the operation of the vehicle, while guaranteeing identical torque and maximum power ratings as other types of diesels. FAME-based fuel is highly hygroscopic, unstable in storage, and there is a risk of biological contamination. Even with good product quality, biodiesel from FAME ensures operation at temperatures as low as -15°C, while HVO shows stable operation at -40°C, which is especially relevant for countries with cold climates.

Especially important in the context of the current situation is the fact that the production of HVO, unlike biodiesel of the 1st generation, has no effect on food production, because the raw materials are herbs and plants not used in the food industry, which are usually cultivated on soils not suitable for crops, as well as domestic and industrial oil and fat waste. Thus, the transition to hydrogenated vegetable oil, on the contrary, helps to make the food industry more efficient

Blends of HVO with conventional diesel fuel also have a noticeable effect on the energy and emission parameters, allowing the maximum use of all the advantages of the first fuel and leveling the disadvantages of the second. Thus, unlike more fastidious biodiesel from FAME, hydrogenated vegetable oil can be mixed with conventional diesel fuel in any proportions, and 100% can be used to run diesel engines without any modification. There are no problems of special pumps at the gas station, special methods of transportation and storage, expensive engine maintenance, additional staff training and many others. That's why this biofuel is more and more often used by producers and owners of diesel transport and stationary power generating equipment. In Europe HVO is actively used in such industries as manufacturing, construction and agriculture. The combination of HVO diesel or blends with electricity, the creation of a wide range of fuel additives as well as the further improvement of fuel production processes, including new raw material types and the maximization of by-products generated in the process are seen as particularly promising. Due to the gradual withdrawal from fossil fuels due to the depletion of their reserves and the high level of environmental damage, the industrial production of HVO should be seen in Russia, especially since the country has both the necessary areas for planting the appropriate crops (such as rapeseed), and sufficient oil and fat waste and technical capabilities for the transition to more advanced fuels.



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