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Addressing the big questions regarding HVO

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Over the past few years, HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) has taken the world of biofuels by storm.
The acronym is somewhat of a misnomer, since the feedstock slate goes well beyond the edible veg oils (soybean, palm, rapeseed, etc).
It refers more generally to the hydro-processing of lipids to produce bio-based hydrocarbons (bio-HC), “drop-in” molecules highly compatible with the incumbent fossil fuels.
The acronym HVO tends to be used for both the diesel grade and the technology itself; to avoid confusion, I prefer to reserve the word for the technology, and refer to the diesel product as Renewable Diesel (RD) and to the jet fraction as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
To confuse matters further, the aviation industry tends to use a different acronym for this technology, HEFA (hyproprocessing of ester and fatty acids), which is the name of the pathway’s certification within the SAF standard ASTM D7566.


HVO produces a range bio-hydrocarbons, from light-end bio-LPG to diesel, including bio-naphtha and, of course, biojet.
Isomerisation, which improves the cold flow...

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