HVO – an environmental-friendly fuel for your diesel engine

In order to reduce climate change, a shift from fossil fuels to alternative fuels is inevitable. HVO is a synthetic diesel fuel that is stable, sustainable and maintains a high quality, making it suitable for marine and industrial power systems. In addition, it allows for a reduction of fossil CO2 emissions by up to 90%, making the renewable fuel beneficial for both your business and the environment.


Volvo Penta focuses on reducing the use of fossil fuels

Ever since the beginning of industrialization, the use of fossil fuels has increased. This has led to negative consequences for both human health and the environment. As a manufacturer and provider of marine and industrial power systems, we are a part of that problem. But, most importantly, we are also a part of the solution. With pride, we can now say that since the beginning of 2016, Volvo Penta approves hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as fuel in all our diesel engines.

Hydrotreated vegetable oil – a synthetic fuel for your diesel engine

HVO - environmental

HVO (hydro-treated vegetable oil) is a renewable, paraffinic fuel produced from either vegetable or animal sources. Hydrogen is added when producing HVO. The hydrogen combines with the oxygen, which removes water from the fuel. Due to this treatment, HVO is a stable and sustainable fuel. HVO is specified in the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) standard EN 15940 for paraffinic fuels made from synthesis or hydrotreatment.  

All renewable fuels share the same challenges when it comes to production. It requires large areas of land to produce the feedstock (vegetable oil) for large quantities of HVO. However, excess cooking oil and animal fat can also be used as feedstock. Forest products are also increasing in popularity, where for example pine oil is a promising source in the years to come.  

The differences between diesel and HVO

HVO has a substantially higher cetane number (ignitability) but also somewhat lower density compared to diesel. This leads to a substantial reduction of particulates (soot) but can also lead to a slight decrease in power and a slight increase in volumetric fuel consumption. The fossil CO2 emissions will decrease by up to 90%, depending on the feedstock used in the HVO production. HVO is also sulfur free. HVO shall be treated as diesel fuel and works in the exact same way when it comes to service and installation. It is user-friendly and applicable to all diesel engines from Volvo Penta.

A fuel approved by Volvo Penta needs to live up to high standards

The Volvo Group has been conducting measurements and tests on HVO during some ten years, and as a part of the Volvo Group, Volvo Penta has been involved in the process. Tests have been conducted on for example fuel consumption and performance, which has given us an extensive experience in the qualities and possibilities possessed by HVO.

HVO – a sustainable fuel in the marine and industrial businesses

For us at Volvo Penta, it is very important to listen to our customers and their needs. They should have high demands on their provider of industrial and marine power systems. It is our job to be responsive and make our customers needs our top priority. During the last couple of years, there has been an increasing interest from our customers for this type of fuel. We are therefore proud to offer a sustainable solution that is favourable for both our customers’ businesses and the environment.

Are you willing to try HVO in your marine or industrial diesel engines? We encourage you to do so and to contact the author if you have any questions. Please visit our website for more information and don’t forget to check out more articles on our blog.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Martinus Ytrebø Reply

    Can Volvo Penta reccommend to use HVO fuel in a Volvo Penta D2-40 from 2006, serial number 510 200 06 89 ?
    If yes, will Volvo Penta issue a bulletin regarding which engines specified to use regular diesel, EN590, that can use HVO, EN15940, additionally?
    I would very much like to start using HVO and I have noted that mixing regualer diesel and HVO in the tank is no problem, unless the engine manufacturer say one should not.

    • Rolf Westlund Reply


      Thank you for your comment!

      Volvo Penta diesel engines are certified for compliance with emission legislations with the diesel test fuels specified by law. These fuels correspond with diesel fuel standards EN 590, ASTM D975 and JIS K2204 and paraffinic diesel fuel standard EN 15940.

      Best regards,
      Rolf Westlund

  2. Göran Isaksson Reply

    Kan HVO användas med en 40 år gammal TMD40A i originalskick?
    Finns HVO tillgängligt i Stockholm?
    Hur mycket dyrare än vanlig diesel?
    Kan man anmäla sig som “testpilot”?

    • Rolf Westlund Reply

      Hej Göran!
      Tack för din kommentar!
      Det är inga problem att använda HVO till äldre Pentamotorer. Det är ingen inverkan på förbränningen utan ger bara mindre sot. Eventuellt kan det ge en minimal inverkan på maxeffekt. Om du ska använda HVO rekommenderar vi att slangar och tätningar som har gått med diesel under lång tid byts för att undvika läckage. Vi har dessvärre inga uppgifter på varken distributörer eller pris på HVO. All våra tester sker på vårt testcenter i Göteborg och vi använder oss därför inte av några testpiloter.

      Trevlig sommar!

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