Volvo CE demonstrates renewable fuel

By Joe Sargent21 February 2020

Volvo CE demonstration ground

Swedish original equipment manufacturer Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has begun to use renewable HVO Biodiesel in its demonstration units at the firm’s customer centre in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

HVO diesel – or Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil – is made through a process of hydrogenation where hydrogen is used as a catalyst and not methanol. As a result, it is not glycerin but propane that is the by-product and all oxygen is removed from the vegetable oils.

This translates to the HVO fuel producing very little trace of CO2 and is also reported to offer performance levels comparable to those from regular diesel fuels.

Unlike some other biofuels, HVO isn’t particularly sensitive to low or high temperatures, nor exposure to sunlight. It also lasts longer and, as a result of the hydrogenation process, HVO has a longer storage life, compared with some other biodiesels.

Not only is the biodiesel now becoming more readily available, but it is said to be compatible with a wide range of machines.

Karl Serneberg, director of marketing, Volvo CE said, “Volvo CE approves all of our machines to run on HVO. No special modifications to the engine are required, and they work just as efficiently on HVO as they do with regular diesel.”

Although slightly more expensive than regular diesel, the price gap is narrowing. However, the fuel does use the same type of tanks and pumps, making the switch to this fuel, according to Volvo, almost unnoticeable to the machine operator.

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