In the light of increased pressure on businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their environmental standards, it is worth looking at HVO as an alternative to standard diesel.

Unfortunately in the UK it isn’t yet readily available at fuel stations, but it is available generally for bulk delivery, so our fuel storage and fuel dispensing units are the best solution of you are looking to change over to HVO.

What are the differences between HVO, Biodiesel and Mineral Diesel?

First things first.  There is a lot of confusion, especially between HVO and Biodiesel. But in fact there are a number of differences which affect their overall sustainability.  So here is a chart summarising the main differences.

Mineral diesel FAME Biodiesel HVO
Raw materials Crude mineral oil (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester)

Mainly Vegetable Oils from oilseed rape, sunflower, also used cooking oil

Used cooking oils, animal fats and other oily waste byproducts.


Process Refining of crude oil Transesterification using alcohol and a catalyst. Substances used and produced in the process are recycled. Hydrotreating of the base product to fully recycle it.
‘Green’ Advantages Can be low emission dependent on engine, use of AdBlue®, etc.

Economical fuel consumption.

Sustainable and recycled.

Renewable raw material sources.

Carbon neutral.

Recycling of waste products.

Up to 90% carbon reduction.

Cleaner burning – increases engine life.

Very low emissions.

Can be stored up to 10 years with no degradation.

Disadvantages Carbon-based ‘fossil’ fuel.

Harmful emissions.

Can cause some engine damage.

Can react with water (hygroscopic).

Can be affected by algal or bacterial growth.

Difficult to store long term.

Some harmful emissions.

Higher cost than ‘standard diesel’.

Only generally available in bulk.




Main Usage currently Road, construction and agricultural vehicle fuel.

Generator fuel.

Added (7%) to mineral diesel to reduce fossil fuel usage. Transport fleets, construction and agricultural vehicles – from bulk storage.

Generator fuel.

FAME Biodiesel is not recommended as a straight replacement for standard diesel, due to the way FAME fuels are refined; but HVO can be used as a ‘drop in’ straight replacement with no changes needed for most diesel vehicles. Check with the manufacturer first though, as this may vary.

What are the legal requirements for an HVO tank?

First, check the safety data sheet from your intended supplier – this is important because some HVO fuels are above 60oC Flash point, and therefore not classified flammable. Some others are between 55o and 60oC and therefore fall into the ‘flammable’ category. Where classified flammable, large scale storage will come under DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regs).  But in practice there is very low risk and no special precautions such as ‘Ex’ Zoning of the area would be required.

The Oil Storage regulations will be applicable in all cases. As a generality the requirements are for bunded storage and dispensing tanks, which is no problem as all but the smallest domestic heating oil tanks are integrally bunded as standard.  Check out the Government website advice here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/storing-oil-at-a-home-or-business


HVO is currently the ‘greenest’ overall liquid fuel readily available for internal combustion engines. It will reduce your carbon footprint and reduce other noxious emissions such as nitrous oxide.  It is biodegradable and therefore less of a pollution hazard. The higher flashpoint than conventional diesel makes it less flammable as well.

Overall, changing to HVO could be considered a positive environmental impact.


Which tanks can be used for HVO?

The vast majority of Tanks-UK’s plastic and steel tanks are suitable for HVO as well as ‘standard’ diesel and red diesel. In some cases, a different filter may be required, so please advise us if you want to use a tank for HVO.

Take a look at our basic fuel plastic storage tanks or steel storage tanks; or the range of dispensing tanks – available in plastic or steel – which come fully equipped with filter, hose and nozzle. With a large range of sizes and configurations, plus various add-on options available, you will be spoilt for choice in finding the right tank for your requirements.

Just give us a call on 01953 665940 or email info@tanks-uk.com with your requirements and we’ll send you a quote.



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