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Both rice and praise for HVO

3 marraskuu, 2020

Seen from a carbon dioxide perspective, the diesel car suddenly becomes environmentally friendly - if it is refueled with 100% HVO. Still, the HVO100 is controversial and several automakers are hesitant.

HVO is hydrogenated vegetable oil and is chemically identical to fossil diesel in its structure. However, HVO falls under a different coverage and classification than the fossil diesel, and only a few car manufacturers approve both classifications in their engines. Currently, HVO100, as the fuel is called, is approved by Peugeot, Citroën, DS and Nissan. But BMW, Volvo and Mercedes are also in the process of getting an approval, with the latter two already running projects where taxis run on HVO100.

No disadvantages - seen from an emissions perspective

Lucien Koopmans, professor at Chalmers and head of the department for Combustion and propulsion systems, has done tests that show no disadvantages with HVO100, they only saw a positive impact on emissions. Admittedly, they have only done combustion tests and no tests that show how the engine is affected over time.

Also Carl-Erik Sthernvall, technical expert at the National Motormen's Association, talks about the advantages of HVO.

- It is important to point out that the second generation renewable fuel should not be compared with the first generation. Ethanol, RME and similar fuels are a more crude form of biofuel. HVO100, which instead falls within the second generation fuels, goes through a refining process that creates a fuel whose molecules are basically identical to fossil diesel. This is the difference, and is what creates the possibility of replacing the fossil fuel completely, says Carl-Erik Stjernvall.

Controversial raw material

In addition to the fact that the availability of fuel pumps is severely limited around the country, the environmental aspect is controversial. Which environmental benefits we get with HVO100 largely depends on which raw material is used in manufacturing.

The fuel can be produced from palm oil, a raw material that is known to have a major impact on the rainforest. Neste, which is the world's largest HVO producer, produces much of its HVO diesel at PFAD, which is a residual product from the production of palm oil. But PFAD is also controversial and the Swedish government has recently decided that it should be excluded from the Swedish market, as it is seen as part of the palm oil industry.

However, research is ongoing and tests are carried out on other raw materials. For example, residues from the fishing industry or slaughter waste can serve as raw material. An alternative that feels current for motorists here in the north is pine oil, which can be extracted from the production of paper pulp. Unfortunately, availability is somewhat limited and there is also information that pine oil is sensitive to cold.

Continuation follows in the exciting, and important, companion piece about the fuel in today's and especially the cars of the future.

Fact box: What is HVO?

HVO stands for Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil and is a renewable fuel that can be mixed with diesel or can replace diesel in diesel engines, according to Teknikens Värld . HVO is produced by processing a vegetable oil or animal fats with hydrogen under the influence of a catalyst.

Fatty acids react with hydrogen gas at high temperature and under high pressure, creating hydrocarbon chains identical to diesel oil. The only difference to fossil diesel is that HVO has a slightly lower density and energy content.

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