Hydrotreated vegetable oil

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Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a biofuel made by the hydrocracking or hydrogenation of vegetable oil. Hydrocracking breaks big molecules into smaller ones using hydrogen while hydrogenation adds hydrogen to molecules. These methods can be used to create substitutes for gasoline, diesel, propane, kerosene and other chemical feedstock. Diesel fuel produced from these sources is known as green diesel or renewable diesel.

Diesel fuel created by Hydrotreating is called green diesel and is distinct from the biodiesel made through esterification.


The majority of plant and animal oils are vegetable oils which are triglycerides—suitable for refining. Refinery feedstock includes canola, algae, jatropha, salicornia, palm oil, and tallow. One type of algae, Botryococcus braunii produces a different type of oil, known as a triterpene, which is transformed into alkanes by a different process.[citation needed]

Comparison to biodiesel[edit]

Both HVO diesel (green diesel) and biodiesel are made from the same vegetable oil feedstock. However the processing technologies and chemical makeup of the two fuels differ. The chemical reaction commonly used to produce biodiesel is known as transesterification.[1]

The production of biodiesel also makes glycerol, but the production of HVO does not.[citation needed]


Various stages of converting renewable hydrocarbon fuels produced by hydrotreating is done throughout energy industry. Some commercial examples of vegetable oil refining are Neste NExBTL, Topsoe HydroFlex technology, Axens Vegan technology, H-Bio, the ConocoPhilips process, and the UOP/Eni Ecofining process.[2][3][4][5] Neste is the largest manufacturer, producing 2 million tons annually (2013).[6] Neste completed their first NExBTL plant in the summer 2007 and the second one in 2009. Petrobras planned to use 256 megalitres (1,610,000 bbl) of vegetable oils in the production of H-Bio fuel in 2007. ConocoPhilips is processing 42,000 US gallons per day (1,000 bbl/d) of vegetable oil. Other companies working on the commercialization and industrialization of renewable hydrocarbons and biofuels include Neste, REG Synthetic Fuels, LLC, ENI, UPM Biofuels, Diamond Green Diesel partnered with countries across the globe. In practice, these renewable diesels lower greenhouse gas emissions by 40-90%,[7] have higher energy per content yields than petroleum-based diesels, and better cold-flow properties to work in colder climates.[7] In addition, all of these green diesels can be introduced into any diesel engine or infrastructure without many mechanical modifications at any ratio with petroleum-based diesels.[7]

Renewable diesel from vegetable oil is a growing substitute for petroleum.[8] California fleets used over 200,000,000 gallons of renewable diesel in 2017. CARB predicts over 2 billion gallons of fuel to be consumed in the state under its Low Carbon Fuel Standard requirements in the next ten years. Fleets operating on Renewable Diesel from various refiners and feedstocks are reported to see lower emissions, reduced maintenance costs, and nearly identical experience when driving with this fuel.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils (HVO)", European Alternative Fuels Observatory (retrieved 27 May 2021).
  2. ^ "Green Car Congress: ConocoPhillips Begins Production of Renewable Diesel Fuel at Whitegate Refinery". greencarcongress.com. 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Green Car Congress: Preem selects Haldor Topsoe HydroFlex technology for renewable diesel and jet fuel production". greencarcongress.com. 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "Digital Refining: PKN ORLEN selects Vegan® technology and process book supply from Axens". digitalrefining.com. 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "UOP and Italy's Eni S.p.A. announce plans for facility to produce diesel fuel from vegetable oil" (PDF) (Press release). UOP LLC. June 19, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2014-06-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b c "Products". May 9, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Renewable Diesel as a major transportation fuel in California: Opportunities, Benefits, and Challenges". www.Gladstein.org/gna_whitepapers/. August 2017.
  9. ^ "Renewable Diesel as a Major Transportation Fuel in California". www.StarOilco.net. January 20, 2018.

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